Kerala to knock NGT doors over Mullaperiyar

Updated - November 16, 2021 07:13 pm IST

Published - November 27, 2014 02:30 am IST - Thiruvananthapuram:

An all-party conference on the Mullaperiyar issue on Wednesday decided to approach the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to highlight the adverse ecological impact resulting from the raising of the water level of the reservoir to 142 feet. The meeting also decided to urge the Centre to institute a new study by international experts on the dam safety.

A delegation comprising Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan and Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to convey the State’s concern about the safety of the dam and present its appeal for a survey by international experts.

Dam safety

Briefing mediapersons after the meeting, Mr. Joseph and Forest and Environment Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said that a survey by international experts had become imperative in view of the fact that Kerala was yet to be convinced about the safety of the dam.

The meeting decided to wait till the fate of Kerala’s review petition before the Supreme Court is known on December 2 when it comes up for the apex court’s consideration. Mr. Radhakrishnan said the State had failed to convince the court about the ecological impact of raising the water level from 136 feet to 142 feet. There have been changes to the ecosystem as a result of raising the water level, which had been maintained at 136 feet for the last 35 years.

Impact on forests

He said over 108 hectares of evergreen forests and 147 hectares of partly forested area and 213 hectares of marshy land had submerged by now. An area of 5.68 sq km of land under the Periyar Tiger Reserve had also submerged.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Chandy said the State would examine the possibilities of reopening the Mullaperiyar case. The meeting was attended by Mr. Achuthanandan, Ministers P.K. Kunhalikutty, K.M. Mani, Ramesh Chennithala, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, P.J. Joseph, Government Chief Whip P.C. George, and representatives of various political parties.

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