Tamil Nadu has urged the empowered committee headed by former Chief Justice of India A. S. Anand to reject the Detailed Project Report submitted by Kerala on a new dam across the Mullaperiyar as the existing structure is safe.
In its response to Kerala's application asking the committee to consider the proposal for the new dam, the Tamil Nadu Government stated: “The State of Kerala has submitted the DPR in a suo motu assumption that the existing dam is unsafe both hydrologically and structurally. In contrast, the existing dam has been proved to be safe on both counts and hence the need for a new dam to replace the existing dam does not arise.”
The application filed by advocate G. Umapathy said: “The DPR for the new dam suffers from lack of complete investigations. The State of Kerala has filed an incomplete report which cannot form the basis for any dam and ought to be rejected by the empowered committee.”
Tamil Nadu said, “As the existing dam has been strengthened and well maintained and monitored to be good and safe both on hydrological and structural safety parameters, there is no need for a new dam, which in any case would be unviable keeping in view the environmental and ecological issues.”
“The attempt of Kerala in filing the present DPR is not a bona fide action actuated by any genuine concern with regard to the safety of the existing dam, but is an attempt to deprive Tamil Nadu of the right to the waters of the Mullaperiyar dam under the 1886 agreement, as ratified by the supplemental agreements of 1970. The DPR seeks to restrict the Full Reservoir Level (FRL) to +136 ft., thereby defeating the rights of Tamil Nadu to water up to the contour line of +155 ft., guaranteed under the agreement of 1886 as ratified by the supplemental agreements of 1970,” it added.
According to Tamil Nadu, “The DPR seeks to claim 1.1 TMC of water on account of purported environmental flows, which the State of Kerala is not entitled to. Further the DPR filed by Kerala is an incomplete technical exercise replete with contradictions. The geological investigations which are vital to decide the alignment and the foundation of the dam has not been completed, since 21 more bores are yet to be done as per recommendation of the Geological Survey of India (GSI). Only 15 bores have been done since 2009, when the State of Kerala got permission from the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MOEF) for conducting such an investigation.”
“The DPR,” it said, “cannot form the basis for grounding the new dam. Observations made in the DPR on the safety issues of the existing Mullaperiyar dam are wholly untenable and denied, since the dam has been retrofitted as per the recommendations of CWC between 1980 and 1994 and found to be safe in 2000 by the Expert Committee constituted by Government of India and in 2007 by independent experts appointed by Tamil Nadu.” Further, if the suit filed by Tamil Nadu challenging the validity of the Kerala Amendment Act of 2006 was decreed in its favour, the issue of the offer of a new dam or the construction of a new dam would not arise. Kerala was trying to sidetrack the issue of validity of the Amendment Act of 2006 by raising the issue of a new dam, the application said, seeking a direction from the panel to reject the DPR.