Mullaperiyar Dam: Kerala Revokes Controversial Order On Tree Felling

According to state forest minister AK Saseendran, the Kerala administration has withdrawn the disputed decision allowing Tamil Nadu to chop 15 trees to fortify the infant dam in Mullaperiyar. The authorization was provided by mistake, and prosecution will be undertaken against the personnel involved.

According to the administration, they have no clue who issued the directive. It was never brought up in conversation. Authorities who were responsible for such a decision will have to account for their actions. Roshy Augustine, the state's water resources minister and a native of Idukki, where the dam is located, said he was unaware of the permit provided to Tamil Nadu. The Communist Party of India, a junior partner in the government Left Democratic Front, has raised severe reservations about the topic.

On Saturday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin wrote to his Kerala colleague Pinarayi Vijayan, praising him for approving to chop trees located near the Mullaperiyar reservoir's baby dam.

The message sparked a major debate in the state, with the opposition Congress and BJP alleging that the CM's office granted clearance without consulting the relevant ministries. They said that the judgment will stifle the state's long-standing desire for a new reservoir.

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NK Premachandran MP, a former water resources minister, said the Chief Minister must explain his view on Tennessee's move to increase the water level to one hundred fifty-two feet. He recently stated in the legislature that TN has taken a positive attitude to Kerala's growing worry. However, this is not a good strategy. The opposition claims that bureaucrats are unable to make decisions on their own and that the administration is now looking for scapegoats.

The Chief Minister has yet to respond to the situation. The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's message arrived at a moment when Tamil Nadu official Dorai Murugan's announcement that the state would increase the water level to one hundred fifty-two feet after fortifying the baby dam sparked widespread outrage in the dam's downstream districts. According to sources, the directive was drafted by Chief Wildlife Warden Bennichan Thomas following discussions of involved secretaries. Authorities rejected the questionable move and criticized the political leadership once the issue grew into a major problem.

For even more than two decades, two states have fought over the water level in the 126-year-old Mullaperiyar dam. Although Kerala prefers the water level to be dropped to one hundred thirty-eight feet and a replacement dam built, Tamil Nadu supports raising the water level to one hundred fifty-two feet, claiming that it is sturdy enough to handle any force.

Mullaperiyar is located in the Idukki district, which features roughly 20 minor and large dams. Mullaperiyar, Idukki, Gavi, and Kaki are the four major ones. In the event of a calamity, scientists fear a chain reaction that will endanger 3.5 million individuals residing downstream. Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, disputes the claim, claiming that the state is powerful enough and that it performs routine maintenance every year. Although Kerala demands a replacement dam, Tamil Nadu opposes it, anticipating losing management of the dam, which is the lifeline for 5 districts in southern Tamil Nadu.