SC: Maintain Mullaperiyar dam water level at 139 feet

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New Delhi | Published: August 25, 2018 4:19:06 AM

The Supreme Court on Friday directed Tamil Nadu to keep the water level of the Mullaperiyar reservoir at around a little over 139 feet till August 31, as suggested by the disaster management sub-committee.

supreme court, sc, damIn an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, Kerala on Thursday said the opening of all 13 gates of the dam might have been a cause for the deluge.

The Supreme Court on Friday directed Tamil Nadu to keep the water level of the Mullaperiyar reservoir at around a little over 139 feet till August 31, as suggested by the disaster management sub-committee. The panel has recommended to keep the water level of the dam at 139.9 feet, instead of the permitted 142 feet.

This comes a day after Kerala blamed TN for aggravating the flood situation following release of water from the dam.

Tamil Nadu told a Bench led by chief justice Dipak Mishra that Kerala’s contention that sudden release of water from Mullaperiyar is one of the causes for the floods was misplaced and did not match with ground realities. Water from Mullaperiyar reservoir was released only on August 16, whereas floods in Kerala started about ten days earlier, senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu, said.

“We are only concerned with the safety and lives of people,” the CJI said. The court directed Tamil Nadu to respond to the Kerala affidavit and posted the next hearing on September 6.

In an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, Kerala on Thursday said the opening of all 13 gates of the dam might have been a cause for the deluge.

In 2014, the Supreme Court fixed the permissible water limit at 142 feet and formed a supervisory committee for the dam.

The Mullaperiyar reservoir, though situated in Kerala, in the upper reaches of the Western Ghats, is operated by the government of Tamil Nadu. Waters from it flow into another dam in Idukki, located downstream in the Periyar river basin.

The bench was hearing a plea filed by Kerala resident Russel Roy seeking, among other things, a direction to Tamil Nadu to manage the water level in the dam as floods in Kerala have wreaked havoc.

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