Team for Mullaperiyar Dam Contingency Plan on Hold

Chennai, Dec 27 (IANS): The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has put on hold the setting up of a team to formulate a contingency response plan for the Mullaperiyar Dam in case it bursts, the Tamil Nadu government said Tuesday.

The state government said in a statement that the NDMA has ordered halt to the formation of a team to chalk out the contingency response plan for Mullaperiyar Dam till a Supreme Court-appointed Empowered Committee looking into the dam safety issues submits its report.

The Empowered Committee is expected to submit its report in February.

On Dec 21, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa accused the NDMA of succumbing to the subterfuge of Kerala by constituting a team to formulate a contingency response plan for Mullaperiyar Dam in case it bursts.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is also the chairman of the NDMA, Jayalalithaa expressed her shock at the setting up of the team.

In her memorandum submitted to Manmohan Singh Sunday, the issue of NDMA team for Mullaperiyar Dam was mentioned.

Other political parties in the state also expressed their opposition to the NDMA move.

Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been at loggerheads over the dam, built under an 1886 accord between the then Maharaja of Travancore and the erstwhile British Raj.

While it is located in Kerala, the control of the dam is with Tamil Nadu and its waters serve the state.

Tamil Nadu wants the dam's storage capacity to be increased from the current 136 feet (41.5 metres) to 142 feet (43 metres) according to a Supreme Court order, while Kerala wants a new dam whose control will be with it.


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Title: Team for Mullaperiyar Dam Contingency Plan on Hold

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