Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday questioned the Centre for "entertaining" Kerala's proposal for an environment study to construct a new dam at Mullaperiyar, saying it violates a Supreme Court order.
“This act of Kerala is in utter contempt of the order of the Supreme Court which, on 7.5.2014, held that the existing Mullai Periyar Dam is structurally, hydrologically and seismically safe and had negatived in unequivocal terms, the offer of Kerala for the construction of a new Mullai Periyar Dam,” Jayalalithaa said in a letter to Prime Minister Modi.
Kerala's review petition on this issue had been dismissed and a "finality" reached on the matter but the state government was "seeking to sub`vert" the apex court order by "stealth", seeking approval of the Terms of Reference to conduct the Environmental Impact Assessment study for a new dam, she said.
Jayalalithaa requested Modi to personally intervene in the matter and ask the environment ministry to reject Kerala's proposal for the study
The chief minister said that the very fact of considering Kerala's request is a "gross violation" of the Supreme Court order.
"The Government of India should have desisted from entertaining and considering the proposal and ought to have remitted the proposal back to the Government of Kerala," the letter said.
Jayalalithaa also added that Tamil Nadu government's interlocutory application in Supreme Court seeking to restrain Kerala from conducting the study was scheduled to come up next month.
The Mullaperiyar Dam across the River Periyar is the subject of a raging debate between the two states, with Kerala claiming that the existing 120-year old dam is unsafe at high water levels. The dam provides water to the arid Madurai region in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.