J. Venkatesan

It has been posted for further hearing on October 14

No scientific basis for Kerala’s assertion: Tamil Nadu

One-man Commission to submit its report before October 14

New Delhi: There is no scientific basis for Kerala’s assertion that the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam cannot be raised beyond 136 ft and that any further increase will have an adverse impact on ecology and environment, according to Tamil Nadu.

This came to light during the cross-examination of Kerala’s witness D. Ghosh of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata, by Tamil Nadu senior counsel V. Krishnamurthy, before Justice Anil Dev Singh, the Supreme Court appointed one-man committee, to record the evidence in the suit filed by Tamil Nadu against Kerala.

According to Tamil Nadu counsel, the cross examination revealed that Mr. Ghosh agreed that the conclusions arrived at by him were adopted by the earlier reports filed by the Kerala Forest Research Institute in 2000 without any independent study.

It was also revealed that as per the report of the Ministry of Environment and Forest, no fresh study under the Forest laws would be required, since it was only a case of restoration of the level to the pre-1979 level. During the cross examination of another witness, A.K. Gosain, IIT professor from Delhi, _ who conducted the study _ it was revealed that no meteorologist was involved. At the conclusion of the cross-examination of five witnesses relied on by Kerala, Tamil Nadu made it clear that the new dam proposal was raised by Kerala for the first time in the inter-State meeting held in November 2006 and, thereafter,r in the written statements filed by Kerala in April 2007. In its suit, Tamil Nadu had challenged the Kerala law to restrain Tamil Nadu from raising the water level in the dam above 136 ft.

The case is posted for further hearing on October 14 after the one-man Commission submits its report to the court.