SC-appointed panel on dam asks TN, Kerala to file response

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Mullaperiyar Dam
New Delhi, Jan 2: Despite Tamil Nadu's objections, a Supreme Court-appointed Empowered Committee on Mullaperiyar Dam issue on Monday asked the state and Kerala to file their response by Friday on the ownership mechanism of a new dam, if built in place of the existing structure.

At a hearing in Delhi on Monday, both states stuck to their known stands on the vexed issue with Tamil Nadu contending that the dam was safe and can withstand pressure and Kerala outrightly rejecting them.

Kerala's lawyers argued before the committee headed by former Chief Justice of India A S Anand that a new dam has to be built in the interest of lakhs of people residing in Idukki and neighbouring districts.

During arguments, the panel sought to know from both states their stands on the ownership mechanism, regulation of water and control of structure of a new dam, if built, sources said.

"Tamil Nadu rejected the idea and said the question of building of a new dam does not arise. The state argued that the dam was safe and there was no damage to it. It also argued that the argument of a new dam was unfounded," a source said.

However, the panel asked both states to file their response to the issue by Friday. The states have also been asked to file their response to a number of issues by Friday.

The decision of the panel to seek response of the two states comes in the backdrop of a two-member technical committee visiting the dam in Kerala's Idukki district for a study. The members have submitted an internal report to the committee.

PTI

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