June 26, 2018
Chennai : Tamil Nadu assembly witnessed the coming together of all political parties to tell the centre to keep in abeyance the Dam Safety Bill 2018 till all the states were consulted and a consensus over the issue emerged.
The assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution asking the centre to hold the Bill up till all efforts were made to evolve a consensus over the issue. The resolution was moved by Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswami who said that the Bill had provisions that affect the rights of the state.
The proposed Bill, the chief minister said would create problems in operating infrastructure relating to rivers that serve them but are located in another state. For example, he said, Mulla Periyar, Parambikulam, Thunakkadavu and Peruvaripallam dams were built by Tamil Nadu but were maintained by Kerala.
All these four dams are located in Kerala. The Chief Minister said the Kerala government was creating hurdles and was not cooperating with TN government in strengthening the Mulla Periyar dam. TN wants the storage capacity of the dam increased and its height be increased to 152 ft from the present 142 ft.
The union cabinet had cleared the proposed Bill on June 12. Within three days, on June 15, the TN CM urged Prime Minister Modi to hold the bill in abeyance till after a consensus is evolved on the same.He had also cited the stance of the former chief minister J Jayalalithaa who had opposed the bill and it is a pity he said that the centre was bringing the same bill forward again.
In his letter to PM, the Chief Minister said, I consider it appropriate that consensus of all the states be obtained before bringing forward such a legislation on Dam Safety.”