An expert team of the high-power committee appointed by the Supreme Court on Saturday began work on the underwater survey of the century-old Mullaperiyar dam.

A remote-operated underwater vehicle (ROUV) and other accessories were brought to the dam area on Friday. The expert team of the Central Soil and Materials Research Station (CSMRS) reached Kumily on Saturday night. The team, led by Alex Varghese and Veerendra Pratab, mainly concentrated on the installation work of the ROUV and other equipment and the survey will begin on Sunday, sources said.

Mediapersons have been barred entry and a team of police officials led by the Kattappana Deputy Superintendent of Police is camping in the area. The survey may take 10 to 15 days and the data collected will be sent for further laboratory test to ascertain the safety aspect of the dam.

Representatives of Kerala and Tamil Nadu were also allowed entry to crosscheck the data collected during the underwater survey. The team also marked the spots for conducting additional testing.

The CSMRS, attached to the Ministry of Water Resources, is an advisory body and a premier institute that conducts field surveys and laboratory testing on the condition of concrete and other structures. A team of expert divers and operators of ROUV are also with the survey team .

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