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 on Thursday.
Shekhawat also said the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest has accorded Terms of References for pre-construction activities for construction of a 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 organisation 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, finalisation 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 of assistance from the Centre are submitted by the state government to the Central Water Commission for techno-economic appraisal and acceptance by advisory committee on irrigation, flood control and multipurpose projects of ministry of Jal Shakti.
"As intimated by CWC, 13 Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) 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, Shekhawat said pre-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 which in principle consent has been given for two project 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 compliances by state governments concerned on observations of the CWC in this regard, he said.