We will continue our demand for a new dam: Chandy
Thiruvananthapuram, May 9 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Wednesday expressed happiness at the recent apex court-appointed expert committee's report that studied the safety of the 119-year-old Mullaperiyar Dam and gave the green signal for Kerala's long standing demand for a new dam.
"The final decision on what needs to be done rests with the apex court. Now, with the committee also upholding our demand for a new dam, we will continue to impress the apex court not only for the new dam but also to see that the water level is reduced from 136 feet to 120 feet till the new dam is built," said Chandy to reporters after the weekly cabinet meeting.
He added that the cabinet also discussed the stand-off between Kerala Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph and Justice (Retd) K.T. Thomas, a member of the apex court- appointed expert committee.
"Thomas is certainly our nominee but he is not our advocate and we have concluded that Thomas has done his best and has stood for the interests of the state in the best possible manner. One has to also look into his position in the committee," observed Chandy.
Joseph had pointed out that Thomas should have stood up for its demand for building a new dam.
The apex court Friday had directed that the report of the expert committee, which studied the safety of the 119-year-old Mullaperiyar Dam, be shared with Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
The report, which has already been carried by the media, states that the dam is safe and the water level, now at 136 feet, could be raised to 142 feet as demanded by Tamil Nadu.
Kerala has for long been demanding the de-commissioning of the dam and building a new one.
A five-judge apex court bench of Justice D.K. Jain, Justice R.M. Lodha, Justice Deepak Verma, Justice C.K. Prasad and Justice Anil R. Dave would hear the case July 23, following the handing over of copies of the report of the expert committee to the two states.
The committee was set up in February 2010 to study all aspects of the dam on the Periyar river, including its safety. The committee had submitted its report to the apex court April 25.
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