Tamil Nadu urges Centre to keep Dam Safety Bill in abeyance

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Chennai, June 26 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu assembly on Tuesday unanimously urged the Central government to keep in abeyance the Dam Safety Bill, 2018 till a consensus is evolved after consulting all the states.

Moving the resolution Chief Minister K. Palaniswami said the Bill has provisions affecting the rights of the state.

He said the Bill if becomes a law will create problems in operation and maintenance of Mulla Periyar, Parambikulam, Thunakkadavu and Peruvaripallam dams built by Tamil Nadu.

The four dams are located in Kerala.

Palaniswami said the Kerala government is creating hurdles and is not cooperating with Tamil Nadu in strengthening the Mulla Periyar dam so that the water storage capacity could be increased to 152 ft from the current 142 ft.

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Palaniswami said the Union Cabinet on June 13 gave its nod for the Bill.

On June 15, Palaniswami in a letter had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to keep the Dam Safety Bill, 2018 in abeyance till a consensus is evolved after consulting all the states.

In the letter Palaniswami said: “I consider it appropriate that consensus of all the states be obtained before bringing forward such a legislation on Dam Safety.”

Palaniswami told Modi that in September 2016, late former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa conveyed Tamil Nadu’s objections to certain clauses of the draft Dam Safety Bill, 2016, as it encroaches upon the powers of the state governments and also the rights conferred on the state by virtue of inter-state agreements on dams owned, operated and maintained by Tamil Nadu but located in other states.

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The Chief Minister said the Central government has not circulated any revised draft after 2016 and it is presumed that the Bill in its original form has been approved by the Union Cabinet on June 13.

–IANS

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