January 3rd, 2012
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Mullaperiyar: Expert committee internal meet today

mullapperiyar dam Pathanamthitta: The Supreme Court appointed Expert Committee on the Mullaperiyar dam will have their internal meeting today. The five member committee headed by former Chief Justice of India A S Anand is expected to submit its report on the Mullaperiyar dam in February. In a meeting held yesterday the committee heard the arguments raised by both Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan and counsel Mohan Katarki who appeared before the empowered committe on behalf of Kerala stated that Kerala is willing to build a new dam and that Kerala is willing to bear the entire expense. They also expressed its willingness to sign on any agreement or statute to ensure the same quantity of water to Tamil Nadu provided the new dam is built. According to them if the new dam is feasible there was no need to adress the issue of safety of the old dam. Kerala also made it clear that it was open to any suggestion from Tamil Nadu regarding the new dam.

The Expert Commitee wanted to know whether an independent committee could be constituted to manage, regulate, or operate the new dam. Both the states refused to give an immediate response on the question posed by the expert panel. They have stated that they would get instructions and file their response.

Additional Advocate general Guru Krishna Kumar and counsel G Umpathy stated that the Kerala’s demand for a new dam was not bona- fide and that it was an attempt on Kerala’s part to defeat the existing regime. According to Tamil Nadu, the Mullapriyar dam being a gravity dam, would never burst in the unlikely event of a sevre earthquake. It would only develop cracks. Therefore Kerala apprehensions were misplaced. They also blamed Kerala for creating panic regarding the safety of the dam.

After yesterday’s meeting the committee ruled out the need for a new dam as they found the old dam safe. However, they stated that could not confirm the safety of the dam. CD Thatte one of the experts who visited the dam site said the dam is safe and that there is no need to worry.

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