In a petition, it says this will help avert any immediate calamity
The Kerala government moved the Supreme Court on Thursday for a direction to the Tamil Nadu government to reduce the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam from 136 ft. to 120 ft. so as to avoid any immediate calamity.
Kerala has filed this application in the pending suit filed by Tamil Nadu questioning the law enacted by Kerala in 2006 to fix the level at 136 feet. The State said the 25 earthquakes or tremors that had occurred in the vicinity of the dam recently had threatened its safety, causing serious concern to the 50-lakh people living in the region downstream. The Centre for Earth Science Studies had stated that if there was a tremor with a magnitude of 6 or more the dam would collapse. The fear was further heightened by the incessant rains that lashed the catchment areas of the dam, shooting the storage beyond 136 feet.
Kerala said: “The Mullaperiyar dam undoubtedly stands on the rock, which was never investigated. The area in the downstream … is also a hilly region having high slopes. If the dam breaks, the water would surge rapidly at a high speed, which would wash away structures, trees and human lives. At the present storage level, water would reach the Idukki dam, covering a distance of 50 km within 30-45 minutes, and the Idukki dam would also eventually break open, releasing a huge amount of water of about 70 tmcft altogether.”
Rejecting Tamil Nadu's allegation that the emotions of the people of Kerala were being “whipped up,” it said: “The reaction was natural as evident from the bandhs and hartals, closure of schools and shutdown of commercial establishments. If the storage issue is not addressed, the situation may go out of hand.”