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New Delhi: Kerala on Wednesday disfavoured the Supreme Court’s suggestion for a Central Water Commission (CWC)-headed independent expert committee to review the proposed strengthening work of the controversial Mullaperiyar dam by Tamil Nadu.
Instead, the State suggested that it was willing to accept an independent panel comprising two experts, one each from Tamil Nadu and Kerala, apart from two experts from other institutes like IIT Delhi and one member from CWC who could be the chairperson.
Tamil Nadu wants to strengthen the dam to raise the water level from 136 to 142 ft.
Senior counsel Rajeev Dhawan, appearing for Kerala, told the court that it was not in favour of any committee that had a majority of its members drawn from CWC.
“Such a committee may not inspire command,” Mr. Dhawan told a Bench of Justices D.K. Jain, Mukundakam Sharma and R.M. Lodha hearing the inter-State water dispute that has strained the relationship between the two neighbours. He justified the argument saying the State did not get a fair deal from CWC. He did not elaborate.
Mr. Dhawan stuck to the stand despite the Bench’s suggestion that it would not be proper to question the impartiality of a statutory body.
“Central Water Commission is a statutory body. Do not label it with some tar,” the Bench said, but Dhawan expressed inability to abide by the suggestion first mooted by Tamil Nadu and endorsed by the court. — PTI
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