The Kerala government on Sunday withdrew its order permitting Tamil Nadu to cut 15 trees in the downstream area of the Mullaperiyar dam in an effort to make the structure stronger, reported The Indian Express.
The Pinarayi Vijayan-led administration said the order was a “serious lapse” and that action would be taken against its officials who had approved it. The 126-year-old dam is managed by the Tamil Nadu government.
The two states have been caught in a dispute, as Kerala has called for a new one to be constructed citing structural problems with the Mullaperiyar dam. Kerala has proposed that the water level of the Mullaperiyar dam should be reduced to 138 feet.
Tamil Nadu, however, wants the levels to be raised to 152 feet, claiming that the Mullaperiyar dam would be able to take on the additional pressure.
The revelation of the Kerala government’s permission to Tamil Nadu came after Chief Minister MK Stalin on Saturday thanked Vijayan for the go-ahead, reported the Hindustan Times. The letter sparked a row in Kerala as the Opposition alleged that Vijayan’s office gave approval without consulting the ministries.
But Kerala Forest Minister AK Saseendran on Sunday said the order had been revoked, adding: “I have no idea who gave the order. It never came up for discussion. Officials…