“Reported panic and bandhs are all creations of Kerala government”

Tamil Nadu on Friday refuted Kerala's allegation before the Empowered Committee, headed by the former Chief Justice of India, A.S. Anand, that the Mullaperiyar dam was not safe if the water level was maintained at 136 ft. and that it should be reduced to 120 ft.

In its response to Kerala's affidavit filed before the committee on Thursday, the State reiterated that the dam was safe and that it had been permitted by the Supreme Court to raise the water level up to 142 ft. and further raise it to 152 ft. after completing the remaining strengthening measures.

Tamil Nadu made it clear that the question of considering a new dam would arise only after the Supreme Court rendered its decision. It denied Kerala's assertion that 22 earthquakes/tremors occurred in the region between July 26 and November 26 and said according to the information obtained from the India Meteorological Department, there had been only four occurrences of earthquake in the Kottayam-Idukki region during this period.

“False propaganda”

Tamil Nadu said: “The false propaganda of 22 tremors in the last 4 months resulting in the dam being unsafe is being made without any basis. In fact, there have been only four tremors in the current year and in fact such tremors have been occurring over many years. But, none of them have had any impact on Mullaperiyar dam as their magnitudes were far below 4.9 and classified as ‘slight' by the IMD. However, the Mullaperiyar Dam is designed to withstand earthquakes that could possibly occur in the Zone III as per earthquake zonal map.”

On the outflow of water from the dam, Tamil Nadu said it was strange to contend that even for an outflow of 15,032 cusecs, there was panic among the people. The outflow had been much more than 15,000 cusecs on many occasions in the past and this was very negligible when compared to the design flood of 2.12. lakh cusecs (Probable Maximum Flood level) as per the Central Water Commission. Indeed, the actual flow of 15,032 cusecs was only a miniscule 7 per cent of the design flood of 2.12 lakh cusecs.

Tamil Nadu said: “The reported panic among the public and the bandhs and hartals, etc. are all creations of the Kerala government. There is no need for any panic as the dam has been strengthened sufficiently.” It sought rejection of Kerala's application.