Mullaiperiyar strengthening will be done after getting due approval: TN

Chennai: Tamilnadu Water Resources Minister Durai Murugan has informed the State Assembly strengthening works of the Mullaiperiyar dam for raising the water level to its Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of 152 ft, will be taken on receipt of necessary clearances.

Moving the demand for grants for his department, he said on receipt of clearances, immediately the work would be undertaken.

He said continuous efforts are being taken to obtain Forest Clearance from the Union government. The works which do not require clearances have been completed.

He said the Central Water Commission and Expert Committee (EC) (constituted in the year 2000) have recommended to carry out balance strengthening works namely, strengthening the Baby dam and Earth dam. The Supreme Court in its order dated 27 February, 2006 had also directed to carry them out. Empowered Committee (constituted in the year 2010) reiterated above recommendation of Central Water Commission and Expert Committee and Supreme Court too reiterated its order, he said.

Durai Murugan said the Tamilnadu government has accorded an administrative sanction of Rs.7.85 crore.
In order to strengthen the Baby Dam, 23 trees (now 15) have to be felled down. Though sustained efforts have been taken to obtain necessary clearances to cut these trees, due to the obstructionist attitude of Kerala State, it is getting delayed.

In the Memorandum presented by Chief Minister M K Stalin to Prime Minister Narendra Modi it was requested to instruct Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to advise the Kerala Government not to delay in giving the required clearances to cut the trees.

In the Memorandum presented to the Union Minister of Jal Sakthi by him it was was requested to advise the State of Kerala to immediately give permission to cut the 23 trees (Now 15 Nos.) and repair the Ghat road by
Kerala for which Tamilnadu is willing to bear the cost or to give its concurrence to carry out the repair by Tamilnadu.
Following the Inter-state meeting held on 17 September, 2021 through video conferencing at Additional Chief Secretary level, the Deputy Director, Project Tiger, Thekkady, vide letter dated 6 November, 2021 conveyed that the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and Wildlife, Kerala granted permission for felling 15 numbers of trees.

However, the Kerala Forest and Wildlife Department cancelledthe orders issued by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Wild Life, Kerala.

In this regard, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Jal Shakti in his 8 November, 2021 letter to Kerala requested it to allow the necessary strengthening works of the dam (baby dam and earthen dam), as proposed by the TN government.
On receipt of clearances, the dam strengthening works would be undertaken, the Minister said.