The Kerala government will seek underwater scanning of the upstream side of the Mullaperiyar dam using remote-operated sensitive cameras, before the empowered committee of the Supreme Court.
Minister for Water Resources N.K. Premachandran made the announcement after receiving the inspection report on ‘large-scale repairs and maintenance carried out by the Tamil Nadu government in Mullaperiyar dam and Baby dam,' here on Tuesday. The State will also seek the empowered committee's approval for the new dam proposed to be constructed downstream to replace the existing dam.
The Minister said Kerala conceded the right of Tamil Nadu for maintenance of the dams as permitted by the Supreme Court.
However, the repairs carried out recently were beyond mere repairs. Similar works had never been attempted by Tamil Nadu during the past 15 years.
The expert committee of the State government had reported that the works were carried out to conceal the actual condition of the dams from the representatives of the empowered committee visiting the dam from December 20 to 22. As a responsible State, Tamil Nadu should have delayed the works until after the visit of the representatives.
The inspection report said the “planned concealment” of the actual condition of the dams by Tamil Nadu should be the main point that Kerala should raise before the empowered committee.
Scanning of the underwater portion of the Mullaperiyar dam, which could not be repaired, should be done using the services of reputed organisations so that the empowered committee can fully visualise the true condition of the dam.
It further observed that the dams constructed on the land of Kerala for diverting the waters of the Periyar (which is an intra-State river) to Tamil Nadu could not be allowed to become high-risk structures. Kerala should impress upon the empowered committee the deteriorated condition of the dams and the risk it posed to thousands of people living downstream of the dams.
Keywords: Mullaperiyar dam