In a last-ditch attempt to ensure that Kerala’s concerns on the implementation of Western Ghats repots are effectively addressed, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will likely raise the issue surroundin

Even as the Empowered Committee has pointed out the possibility of a new dam as an alternative to the Mullaperiyar dispute, Kerala’s proposal regarding the same is likely to face a hard time getting the green signal from the various departments and environmental agencies.

In its report, the Empowered Committee had pointed out the possibilities for alternative solutions which includes a new reservoir. With the proposed location for the new dam falling within close proximity to the Periyar Tiger Reserve, the Forest Department is bound to have second thoughts before granting approval for any construction-related activities here.

At a time when the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) is facing threats due to construction activities and illegal entry, the proposal for declaring an Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ) around the national park is still in cold storage.

Though the proposal has reached the state government sometime back, it has not been sent to the Union Government, for unknown reasons. The Forest Department has been on a mission to protect the national park. Earlier, there were demands for a wider buffer zone for the sanctuary. It has been pointed out that a buffer zone of merely 44 sq kms would not be sufficient for a tiger reserve like Periyar.