Keep level under 140 foot, says Mullaperiyar panel

A file photo of water gushing out of surplus vents of the Mullaperiyar dam draining into the Kerala side.   | Photo Credit: ma20Mullaperiyar

A Supreme Court-appointed subcommittee to monitor the water in the Mullaperiyar dam has recommended that Tamil Nadu keep the level below 140 feet in the light of the floods in Kerala.

“We have recommended that the level be below 140 feet for a week, until the next meeting,” U.P. Singh, Secretary, Union Water Resources Ministry, and head of the committee, told The Hindu. Currently, water level in the dam is around 139 feet.

By an earlier order of the Supreme Court, the water in the dam cannot exceed 142 feet because of apprehensions that it will affect its stability. The Mullaperiyar dam is located in Kerala, but it is operated by Tamil Nadu. It has been a source of dispute between the two States.

Last week too, as The Hindu reported, the committee had recommended that Tamil Nadu reduce water levels by 3 feet. On August 16, when that recommendation was made, the water level was 141 feet.

Water released from the dam flows out through a tunnel into the Vaigai dam located in Tamil Nadu’s Theni district. Therefore, the release from the dam would not add to the flood waters in Kerala, according to an official in the Union Water Ministry. The clamour, therefore, by Kerala to reduce water level was largely to give a “psychological relief.” Tamil Nadu has dissented because they are afraid it will “set a precedent — of the State being forced to release water in future too if demanded by Kerala.”

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 6:04:58 PM |

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