Minister for Water Resources P.J. Joseph has said that a final picture on the demolition of the Mullaperiyar dam will be evolved at the meeting of the experts and engineers on September 17.
Talking to The Hindu on Tuesday, the minister said a final meeting of the experts and engineers of the Irrigation Department including the members of the Mullaperiyar Special Cell has been convened on that day to finalise the detailed project report (DPR) and two options including the demolition of the baby dam or opening of a channel from the spill way to keep the water level at 94 feet from the present 136 feet will be finalised. A team of the Mullaperiyar Special Cell led by its chairman M.K.Parameswaran Nair on Sunday visited the site to look in to the options left for the demolition of the dam as per a direction of the Supreme Court.
An official level meeting will be held on Wednesday to discuss the different options before the final meeting. The meeting assumes importance in the wake of the apex court asking the State to what it would do if the dam will have to be demolished.
Mr Joseph said that the decommissioning chapter indicate different options and it will be finalised in the most suitable manner considering the dam security and creating minimum damage to the environment as the wastes have to be deposited in a way to cause any damage to the environment of the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
He said that the State government is committed to construct a new dam and sees things in its seriousness as it affects the security of people. “It should not be construed as a dispute between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, but an issue that raises a threat to the people living downstream,'' Mr Joseph said.
The State government will do everything for decommissioning the century-old dam and constructing a new dam in its place. He said that the matter is before the Supreme Court and the future of the dam depends on its final verdict. The government will take all necessary step for the decommissioning of the dam subject to the apex court order, he said.