Withdraw recommendation for environment study for dam: Jayalalithaa

Chennai, Aug 27 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Saturday urged the central government to withdraw the recommendation for conducting an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for a dam across Siruvani river in Kerala.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she urged his intervention to withdraw the recommendations made by the Expert Appraisal Committee for River Valley and Hydroelectric Projects of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

The committee at its meeting held on August 11 and 12, recommended grant of Standard Terms of Reference for conducting EIA to Kerala to build a dam across Siruvani river at Attappady.

“The Committee has decided to recommend this without obtaining the necessary comments of the Government of Tamil Nadu in contravention of its own decision in the meeting held on 28th and 29th March, 2016,” Jayalalithaa wrote.

The Chief Minister said river Siruvani is a sub-tributary of the river Cauvery which is an inter-state river and the Tamil Nadu government has written to the Centre and the Kerala government objecting to the proposed project.

She said the central government has not informed Tamil Nadu about the proposal or that it would be considered at the Expert Appraisal Committee meeting.

“It is regrettable that this has been done in unwarranted haste without the subject being part of the regular agenda for the meeting and with no intimation to the Government of Tamil Nadu, despite the earlier correspondence from Tamil Nadu,” Jayalalithaa said.

“In the minutes, it has been recorded that the Ministry of Environment and Forests has written to the Government of Tamil Nadu several times, which is factually incorrect,” she added.

Jayalalithaa also requested Prime Minister Modi to advise the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and its agencies and the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation not to accord any clearance to the projects in the Cauvery Basin of Kerala and Karnataka till the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee come into force and judicial references are finally settled.

–IANS

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