Thiruvananthapuram: Terming as "unilateral" the findings of the Supreme Court appointed Empowered Committee on Mullaperiyar Dam, Kerala Water Resources Minister P J Joseph today said there was no change in the state's stand on construction of a new dam. The panel relied on the report of Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu to come to the conclusion that the reservoir was safe, rejecting the studies by Roorkie and Delhi IIT's, he told reporters here.

The state had submitted these reports to the Empowered Committee headed by former Chief Justice of India A S Anand. The Committee's finding that the dam was safe was not acceptable to the state and it would present before the Apex Court these studies to press its case, he said.

Maintaining that there was no change in Kerala's position on construction of a new dam as an alternative to the existing one, Joseph said, "Kerala is confident that its demand for new dam will become a reality".

On the Commmittee's observation that it would take ten years for the construction of a new dam, Joseph said as per a report received by the state, a new dam could be built in two years. Joseph also referred to the recommendation of the Central Water Commission in 1979 which supported the idea of a new dam at Mullaperiyar.

The two states have been engaged in legal battle over raising the water level of the dam, which irrigates five southern districts in Tamil Nadu. While Kerala has been pressing for a new dam to replace the existing old structure on safety grounds, Tamil Nadu has opposed it and moved the Supreme Court.


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