Dam Safety Bill against Tamil Nadu’s interests: Jayalalithaa

July 30th, 2011 - 7:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Chennai, July 30 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to modify certain provisions of the proposed Dam Safety Bill, 2010, in order to protect the interests of the state.

In a letter to the prime minister, copies of which were released to the media here Saturday, Jayalalithaa said: “…certain provisions of the Dam Safety Bill 2010, currently referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on water resources, are detrimental to the interests of Tamil Nadu.”

According to the provisions of the proposed bill, all specified dams should fall under the jurisdiction of the state dam safety organisation (SDSO) or state dam safety cell (SDSC) of the state in which the dams are located.

The SDSO or SDSC will be responsible for the dam inspections, analysis of information, recommendation reports regarding safety status and remedial measures to be undertaken to improve dam safety.

The proposed bill states that full cooperation should be extended by the concerned non-state dam safety organisation or the non-state dam safety cell and the owner of the specified dam.

Jayalalithaa said the provisions will interfere with the safety and functioning of the dams owned by Tamil Nadu.

“Four dams, namely Mullai Periyar dam, Parambikulam Dam, Thunakadavu Dam and Peruvaripallam Dam are owned, operated and maintained by Tamil Nadu, whereas these dams are situated in the territory of Kerala,” she said, adding that if this bill becomes law, it will be detrimental to Tamil Nadu as the control of these four dams would go automatically to Kerala in whose territory the dams are located.

“This will create number of practical problems for the safety, operation and maintenance of the dams,” the letter notes.

In view of this, Jayalalithaa suggested modification to the provision to the effect that the dam inspections, analysis of information, recommendation reports regarding safety status and remedial measures to be undertaken to improve dam safety should fall under the jurisdiction of SDSO or SDSC of the state that owns, operates and maintain the dams.

She also suggested inclusion of a new provision to the effect that dam maintenance officials/personnel shall have the right to enter into the forests and wildlife sanctuary area to carry out dam safety, maintenance and rehabilitation measures.

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