Expressing grave concerns over the flood situation in Kerala, the Supreme Court on Friday asked the National Crisis Management Committee and the court-appointed committee to meet and explore the possibility of reducing the water level in the Mullaperiyar Dam reservoir to 139-feet mark.
Expressing grave concerns over the flood situation in Kerala, the Supreme Court on Friday asked the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) and the court-appointed committee to meet and explore the possibility of reducing the water level in the Mullaperiyar Dam reservoir to 139-feet mark.
While observing that the idea was to resolve the “calamity, rescue and rehabilitate people” caught in flood, it asked Kerala and Tamil Nadu to adhere to the said committee’s recommendations for full reservoir level (FRL) management and rehabilitation of displaced people.
A Bench led by chief justice Dipak Misra said: “We are not experts. We are leaving it to the committee to bring down the water level to 139 feet from current 142 feet.”
It also asked for measures on limiting damages caused due to release of water downstream and ensure that inhabitants were safe before any release of water from the dam.
While the judges asked the Kerala chief secretary to file an affidavit on what steps are being taken for disaster management, rescue and rehabilitation of those affected, it directed Tamil Nadu to “scrupulously” comply with instructions to bring down the water level in the dam. It then posted the matter for next hearing on August 24.
The situation of Kerala is being monitored on a “minute-by-minute” basis, additional solicitor general PS Narasimha told the Bench.
The sub-committee was constituted under Section 9 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and the NCMC has decided that the water level in the Mullaperiyar reservoir should be reduced by two-three feet due to the situation caused by Kerala Floods, the ASG told the apex court.
“Tamil Nadu wants to prove the strength of the dam and Kerala is busy managing floods across the state since whole state is flooded. So what about us citizens?” asked counsel Manoj George, appearing for Kerala resident Russel Roy, the petitioner who among other things had sought a direction to Tamil Nadu to manage the water level in the dam as floods in Kerala have created a havoc.
Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu, said it was not possible to bring down the water level as it will only cause further flooding in Kerala.