New Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala: Needs accent from the Supreme Court

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The matter on new Mullaperiyar dam has got accent from Ministry of Environment and Forest and has permitted Kerala to do the study on environmental impact assessment about the Mullaperiyar dam. Kerala Dam Safety Authority secretary VK Mahanudevan had informed that even though green signal was given formal approval will be provided later. Irrigation Design and Research Board (IDRB) chief engineer Mahanudevan told that some engineers from Kerala had given presentation to the New Delhi panel. Supreme Court had earlier rejected the new dam proposal by the State government as the Mullaperiya old dam was 116 year. So the Kerala team of panel members had provided the impact assessment to the concerned authority. Kerala team had brought out the observation to the Supreme Court wherein it told that new dam could be built in that area which would benefit a lot of people if both the states Tamil Nadu and Kerala mutually agreed. EIA study from National Wildlife Board had given approval to Kerala.

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Previously a petition from Tamil Nadu had brought out restrain on the Kerala to carry out EIA for the new dam in May and so Supreme Court had refused to go ahead with the EIA study for the dam. As it was a river valley project, EIA would include in its assessment all the environmental concerns and impacts because of the construction of the dam. It was also said that detailed analysis of the impact of this on the environment and the existence of national parks and sanctuary must be stated in it along with detailed maps too. Supreme Court had told that a 5 member bench will look into this matter post court vacations. Seismo-tectonic details, geological, biosphere reserve, maps of the area surrounding the dam area along with canal site must also be provided in the survey. Environmental components like water, air, noise, land, soil biodiversity, wildlife etc should be given which covers 10 kilo meters range of the dam. On Thursday, the presentation on this was provided before MoEF by the Kerala officials. After the analysis the minimum impact steps should also be suggested by the panel in the study was also told by the court.

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by Sushma Javare.