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Kerala govt stays order to cut trees at Mullaperiyar dam

Kerala govt stays order to cut trees at Mullaperiyar dam

Following the Opposition's backlash, the Kerala government has frozen the order of the forest department to fell trees at Mullaperiyar dam. Kerala government Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Bennychen P Thomas had ordered the felling of trees as per the request by Tamil Nadu water resources minister S Duraimurugan. Duraimurugan had requested the felling of trees to strengthen the Baby dam at Mullaperiyar.

Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin thanked Kerala CM on Sunday for the sanction to cut trees. However, after the thanksgiving letter came out in the media, the Opposition slammed the Kerala government of becoming 'submissive to Tamil Nadu in the Mullaperiyar issue'. Congress state president K Sudhakaran and BJP state president K Surendran further demanded the resignation of the state forest minister. Senior Congress leader and former state opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala further accused Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan saying no officer would sign such an order without getting consent from the CM.

Bennychen had sent a report to the Kerala forest minister's office stating that he had sanctioned the request following the TN government's request a few months ago. The decision was taken at the Secretary-level discussions between the Forest and Water Resources departments, he added.

The Kerala government has been requesting the construction of a new dam at Mullaperiyar after decommissioning the old. The current dam is 126 years old and poses a grave threat. The UN had recently recommended the construction of a new dam as the current one has outlived its age.

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TAGS:Mullaperiyar dam Kerala government Opposition 
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