Mullaperiyar reservoir, Thekkady
The ruling party in Tamil Nadu is proposing to boycott the empowered committee of Supreme Court to be constituted to study the safety and other aspects of the Mullapperiyar issue. This is almost an affront to the highest seat of judiciary in the country. Moreover, it indicates that the State had no case in going to the Court against the Supreme Court.  Kerala Assembly had every right and competence to legislate for the safety of the State’s people, and this is the point being argued by Kerala before the Court. If Tamil Nadu fails to nominate its representative to the committee, it might lead to the dismissal of the case filed by Tamil Nadu challenging Kerala’s dam safety regulation.

The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi has called upon the Prime Minister to convene conference of the two States to settle the matter politically. This is a move sensing that its case is becoming weak legally.  It would not be advantageous for Kerala to go the negotiation table at this juncture.  It should get a verdict in its favour and then, if necessary, discuss construction of new dam with Tamil Nadu. Then it would be able to negotiate from a position of strength.

Kerala should continue to seek studies on the present condition of the dam and rework data based on latest finding on probable maximum flood in the catchment. Kerala is giving water to Tamil Nadu from a River that belongs entirely to the State. Never, should it allow Tamil Nadu to dictate terms and even organised blockades of milk and vegetables being brought to Kerala from Tamil Nadu.  The new dam should entirely be in its (Kerala’s) control.

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