Ownership of dams rests with Kerala, asserts Chandy

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on November 25, 2017

Tamil Nadu wanted to stake claim on four dams

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has asserted that the ownership of the four dams of Mullaperiyar, Thunakadavu, Parambikulam and Peruvaripallam rests with the State.

Seeking to end a controversy over the issue, he issued a clarification in the State Assembly by citing the National Register of Large Dams which he said went to sufficiently establish the State’s case.

Contentious entry

This comes a day after proceedings were disrupted over an entry in the registry that said the four dams in Kerala were being ‘operated and maintained by the Public Works Department of Tamil Nadu.’

The controversy was triggered while Water Resources Minister PJ Joseph was replying to a query raised by a member of the Opposition yesterday.

Joseph said the contentious entry had been included as a footnote in the registry after the 32nd meeting of the National Committee of Dam Safety held on December 27, 2013.

Tamil Nadu had wanted to add ‘owned’ in the footnote along with ‘operated and maintained,’ Joseph had said.

“It appears that the Chief Engineer, Irrigation and Administration, who represented Kerala at the meeting, did not oppose it,” he added.

Subsequently, the National Committee had informed the State a decision on removing the footnote would be taken after consulting Tamil Nadu, the Minister said.

Anger in Assembly

The Minister’s assurance had failed to pacify the Opposition. Speaker G Karthikeyan’s effort to proceed with the listed business did not succeed.

It was at this juncture that the Chief Minister intervened by saying that the State government would not accept any decision against the interests of Kerala.

“The government is not aware of this,” he said. He assured the House that stern steps would be in case of lapse on the part of officials. He also promised to come back to the House with a detailed reply.

Published on June 12, 2014

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