"Mullaperiyar Dam Is Safe," Says Union Minister

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said Union Ministry of Environment and Forest has accorded Terms of References for per-construction activities for building new dam to replace existing Mullaperiyar Dam following certain environmental guidelines.

'Mullaperiyar Dam Is Safe,' Says Union Minister

Three-member supervisory committee inspected and discussed various matters regarding Mullaperiyar Dam

New Delhi:

The Mullaperiyar Dam in Kerala is safe but the Centre will have no objection if the governments of Kerala and Tamil Nadu agree for construction of a new dam near the existing site, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said in Lok Sabha today.

Mr Shekhawat also said the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest has accorded Terms of References for per-construction activities for construction of new dam to replace the existing Mullaperiyar Dam with certain conditions for preparation of environmental impact assessment and environmental management plan report.

A three-member supervisory committee headed by chief engineer, dam safety organization of the Central Water Commission (CWC) along with other two members of the committee from Tamil Nadu and Kerala visited Mullaperiyar Dam site on June 4, 2019, and held discussions on various dam-related matters such as instrumentation, installation of inflow forecast system in the catchment, finalization of rule curve.

"The Mullaperiyar Dam is safe. There is no threat to it. However, if both state governments agree for construction of a new dam, the central government will have no objections to it," he said during Question Hour.

The minister said major and medium irrigation projects and multi-purpose projects located on inter-state rivers or such projects where state government desires to avail assistance from the Centre are submitted by the state government to the Central Water Commission for techno-economic appraisal. They are also submitted for acceptance by advisory committee on irrigation, flood control and multipurpose projects of ministry of Jal Shakti.

"As intimated by Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC), 13 Detailed Project Reports (DPR) involving construction of new dams (including Attappady Valley Irrigation Project (AVIP) of Kerala State) were received for appraisal during last three years beginning from April 2016."

"Out of these, two proposals were accepted by Advisory Committee after appraisal by CWC and three proposals including AVIP of Kerala have been returned to respective States with certain observations," he said.

Further, Mr Shekhawat said per-feasibility reports (PFR) of another eight projects were received during the said period for in principle consent of screening committee of the CWC for preparation of DPR.  Out of eight projects, in principle consent has been given for two projects for preparation of DPR and one PFR has been returned with observations regarding interstate issues.

Acceptance of remaining proposals by advisory committee or screening committee of the CWC depends upon satisfactory compliance by state governments concerned on observations of
the CWC in this regard, he said.