‘Approval sought to cut trees to fortify Mullaperiyar baby dam’
The virtual meeting held on Friday between Tamil Nadu and Kerala officials on inter-State water disputes was “cordial and positive”, Public Works Department Secretary Sandeep Saxena said in Chennai.
As for the Mullaperiyar dam, Tamil Nadu was to strengthen the baby dam in line with the Supreme Court’s judgment, and an inspection conducted two months ago revealed that 15 trees were to be cut down.
“We have sought permission to cut down these trees. The Principal Secretary of Kerala’s Department of Forests assured us that he would consider the request and take a decision,” he said.
Ghat road repair
As for the ghat road to the baby dam which was not in a good condition, Mr. Saxena said Kerala’s State Board for Wildlife had to give permission, and a meeting of the panel would be called soon.
When Tamil Nadu raised the issue of non-release of water from the Neyyar dam since 2004, Kerala pointed to the lack of terms and conditions. Since Kerala passed legislation in 2004 for water-sharing with other States, talks could be held on water release from the Neyyar dam.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, Mr. Saxena, who led the Tamil Nadu delegation, said Kerala had agreed, in principle, to Tamil Nadu’s proposal for a new dam in Anamalayar under the Parambikulam-Aliyar project. More talks would be held on some technical issues.
As for the Nirar-Nallar project, Kerala was inclined towards the formation of technical committees, he said. “On both Anamalayar and Nirar-Nallar, only issues of technical aspects are remaining.”
In the Pandiyar-Punnampuzha project, Tamil Nadu was for a new location and Kerala had said technical experts would visit the spot and provide their inputs, Mr. Saxena said. “Their concern is that people and farmers from both States should get their share of water.”
Kerala had agreed, in principle, to the Pandiyar-Punnampuzha project, Mr. Saxena said. Kerala had also suggested the constitution of technical committees for various projects, such as the Parambikulam-Aliyar and the Nirar-Nallar projects. “We are prepared for that.”
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