Free Press Journal

No new dam, says tech panel; Kerala protests


Thiruvananthapuram: In a major setback to Kerala, the technical committee attached to the Supreme Court- appointed Empowered Committee rejected the states demand for a new dam at Mullaperiyar, over which it is engaged in a political tussle with t

he neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu.

C D Thatte, who heads the two- member panel, ruled out the need for a new dam in the inspection report they submitted to the Empowered Committee in New Delhi on Monday. He told the panel headed by former Supreme Court Chief Justice A S Anand that the life of the 116- yearold could be prolonged by undertaking repairs.

He said that the technology is currently available to extend the life of the dam.

The panel submitted the report after inspecting the dam in the wake of the recent series of the tremors.

The report may influence the final decision of the empowered committee, which is expected by February last.

However, Kerala lodged a protest before the panel accusing Thatte and his colleague D K Mehta of adopting a alt39 partisanalt39 approach during the visit of the dam on December 23 and 24.

The complaint lodged by Additional Chief Secretary K Jayakumar said the two members had not only ignored Keralas views on the safety of the dam but also insulted the government representatives who accompanied the panel.

Kerala pointed out that the technical committees argument that the life of the dam could be prolonged through repairs is illogical.