No new Mullaperiyar dam, says Forest Ministry

The MoEF decided to defer the proposal for grant of scoping clearance to the project till further directions from the Supreme Court.

Updated - November 16, 2021 06:56 pm IST

Published - July 25, 2015 12:22 am IST - CHENNAI:

The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has refused to even consider for Terms of Reference (TOR) the Kerala government's proposal to construct a new dam at Mullaperiyar.

Noting that the matter in complete perspective was sub judice, the MoEF decided to defer the proposal for grant of scoping clearance to the project till further directions from the Supreme Court. With this clear rejection, the Kerala government will now have to wait for orders from the Supreme Court to construct a new dam at Mullaperiyar, replacing the existing 120-year-old dam. The Kerala government had cited safety issues as the reason for reconstruction.

When the proposal came up before the MoEF’s expert appraisal committee for river valley and hydro-electric projects last month, the committee observed three legal points after examining the proposal. It noted that the Supreme Court, in its order dated May 7, 2014, had granted liberty to the parties — the Tamil Nadu and Kerala governments — to apply to the court if they were unable to arrive at an amicable solution regarding the new dam.

A writ petition filed by Tamil Nadu PWD Senior Engineer Association against the Union Home Secretary, in the Madras High Court Bench, at Madurai, was pending.

After the clearance from the Standing Committee of National Board for Wildlife for conducting Environment Impact Studies, the Tamil Nadu government filed an Interlocutory Application in Original Suit in the Supreme Court on May 12, 2015.

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