The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests today allowed Kerala to conduct an environment impact assessment (EIA) study for constructing a new dam at Mullaperiyar.
The ministry in its order stated the EIA study should be completed within six months, and has also extended an in-principle nod for constructing the new dam at Mullaperiyar.
“The EIA would be conducted in three seasons. This would take about a year,” said an official associated with the new Mullaperiyar dam project.
The Kerala government has already initiated steps to identify an agency to carry out the EIA, according to water resources minister PJ Joseph.
In May this year, the Supreme Court had rejected Tamil Nadu’s plea seeking to restrain Kerala from carrying out the EIA.
Last December, the National Board for Wildlife, falling under the environment ministry, had cleared Kerala's proposal for carrying out the EIA.
The board’s standing committee, headed by Union environment and forests minister Prakash Javedekar, had sanctioned the EIA at its meeting in August last year to decide on green projects.
However, the decision on projects was kept in abeyance after the Supreme Court had intervened over the composition of the board. In the aftermath of the reconstitution of the board with additional experts in October last year, the minutes of the meeting were made public on December 2.