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Kerala: Centre defers meeting on proposal for new dam at Mullaperiyar amid TN CM Stalin's intervention

The Ministry of Environment postponed a meeting that was scheduled on Tuesday (May 28) in connection with Kerala's proposal for a new dam at the Mullaperiyar. Earlier, Tamil Nadu CM M K Stalin wrote a letter to the Ministry urging no permission to be granted to Kerala to conduct an environmental impact assessment study. 

Kerala: Centre defers meeting on proposal for new dam at Mullaperiyar amid TN CM Stalin's intervention anr
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First Published May 28, 2024, 12:57 PM IST

New Delhi: Following a possible intervention by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, the Environment Ministry decided to postpone its meeting that was slated to consider Kerala's proposal for a new dam at Mullaperiyar. The Centre, however, did not specify the reason for the postponement of the meeting.  

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Stalin, in a letter to the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, urged against granting permission to Kerala to conduct an environmental impact assessment study for the construction of a new dam in Mullaperiyar.

Tamil Nadu's letter highlighted that any attempts by the Kerala Government to construct a new dam would violate the Supreme Court's verdict. It emphasized that such actions should not be authorized and called for the initiation of contempt of court proceedings if Kerala proceeded with them.

Earlier, farmers' organizations in Tamil Nadu protested against Kerala's move to build a new dam at Mullaperiyar. Farmers marched near Kumali on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. The march was led by the Periyar Vaiga Irrigation Farmers Association. 

Kerala had decided to complete the detailed project document for the construction of a new dam at Mullaperiyar within a month. 

Tamil Nadu's communication emphasized that several expert committees had previously affirmed the Mullaperiyar dam's safety to the Supreme Court. The letter underscored that Kerala's proposal to build the dam would contradict the spirit of the Supreme Court's decision.

In 2014, the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) authorized the Kerala government to conduct an environmental impact assessment study within a 10km radius around the project site for a new dam. However, in June 2015, the expert appraisal committee for river valley and hydroelectric projects acknowledged the Supreme Court's order, which stipulated that both states must agree on any proposal for a new dam. Consequently, the committee decided that any proposal for a new dam would only be considered in accordance with the Supreme Court judgment.
 

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