Kerala moves SC against unwarned water release

The Kerala government has moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to Tamil Nadu not to release a huge quantity of water in the wee hours from the 126-year-old Mullaperiyar dam, saying it causes heavy damage to the people living downstream of the dam.

In an application filed in the apex court on Thursday, the Kerala government also sought a direction to the Tamil Nadu government to control the water level by releasing water from the dam throughout the day instead of releasing a huge quantity of water in the wee hours without giving sufficient warning time.

A Bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and C.T. Ravikumar is scheduled to hear on Friday the pleas which have raised issues about the dam, built in 1895 on the Periyar river in Idukki district.

The Kerala government, in its application filed through advocate G. Prakash, said the supervisory committee is directed to act according to the interim directions of the apex court to avoid difficulties for the people who live downstream. A ‘joint technical on-site committee for spillway release’, comprising two members each from Kerala and Tamil Nadu, be constituted to decide on the quantity and time of surplus discharge through spillway shutters to Kerala.

Warning sought

The application said it should also be ensured that only based on the recommendation of the joint technical on-site committee, the surplus water to Kerala would be effected with sufficient warning time to the District Disaster Management Authority.

“The erratic release of the heavy volume of water, that too without any intimation during the wee hours of the day for the last more than one week, caused heavy damage to the people and their property who are living in the downstream of the Mullaperiyar dam,” the application said.

It said that the apex court had on October 28 ordered that for the time being, the parties would abide by the water level notified by the expert committee. From the last week of November onwards, the catchment area of the Mullaperiyar dam and places in and around Idukki district experienced heavy rainfall which resulted in the increase of water level of the dam.

The top court had on November 22 said that all the issues related to the dam would be heard on December 10.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 4:17:11 AM |

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