Kerala's bid to build new dam ''impossible'': TN Minister

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Chennai, Nov 14 (UNI) Flaying the Kerala Government for its ''move'' to build a new dam near the Mullaperiyar dam, Tamil Nadu Public Works Minister Duraimurugan today said it was ''practically not possible'' for Kerala to build a new dam and declared that Tamil Nadu would meet the state legally if it tried to build dam.

In a statement here, he said the Kerala Government could get some praise from the people of the state, by declaring that it would build a new dam, but it was not pratically possible.

''When the Kerala Government takes a decision and starts work on building a new dam, Tamil Nadu will meet the state legally,'' he said.

Mr Duraimurugan termed as ''false,'' Kerala Irrigation Minister N K Premachandran's claim that Tamil Nadu was not cooperating with Kerala on the issue and the Mullaperiyar dam has weakened.

He said the Kerala Government, in 1979 itself had made a ''hue and cry'' about the strength of the dam and refused to allow Tamil Nadu to raise the water level in the dam to 142 ft.

Accusing Kerala of not cooperating with Tamil Nadu, when it tried to strengthen the dam, he said after repeated inspections, the Central Resources Committee had held that the dam was in good condition and the water level could be raised from 136 ft to 142 ft.

When the matter was taken to the Supreme Court, the Kerala Government had advanced arguments that the dam was 100 year-old and if the water level was allowed to be raised, it would breach and perish people in five districts in the state.

The apex court after detailed hearing, however, rejected Kerala Government's arguments and allowed the water level to be raised to 142 ft. However, the Kerala Government, through an amendment, thwarted the implementation of the apex court order, he said.

In all these years, it was the Kerala Government which had refused to honour the Supreme Court order and failed to cooperate with Tamil Nadu to resolve the issue, he said. ''It is Kerala, which has launched a non-cooperation movement, unwilling to resolve the issue,'' he alleged.

UNI

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