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T.N. rubbishes claims on disaster for Mullaperiyar dam

File Photo: The Mullaperiyar Dam   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

The Tamil Nadu government has rubbished averments made in the Supreme Court that 16th century French clairvoyant, Nostradamus, predicted a disaster linked to the Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala.

“The averment that media is anticipating disaster as per the directive of the world famous French astrologer Nostradamus is anyway a propaganda to mislead and to create fear psychosis among the people living in the downstream area of Mullaperiyar dam,” an affidavit filed by the Tamil Nadu government said.

Besides, the State said the court itself had on multiple occasions found the dam to be “hydrologically and structurally safe.”

Tamil Nadu was responding to averments made in a petition filed by Idukki resident Russell Joy, who said the 125-year-old dam is a source of constant fear of people who live in downstream areas at the time of floods and earthquakes. Mr. Joy wants the water level to be maintained at 130 feet in the monsoon season.

But Tamil Nadu debunked Mr. Joy’s claim that the area saw 62 earthquakes between January and May. It said there were only 21 very minor tremors.

“Further, the Mullaperiyar dam is a masonry gravity dam founded on hard rock with a broad base and will not suddenly burst like an arch dam as imagined by the petitioner [Mr. Joy],” the State, represented by advocates G. Umapathy and Yogesh Kanna, reasoned.

The affidavit said the dam was designed to withstand “maximum credible earthquake forces” in that region. It had been checked for seismic stability by the Central Water and Power Research Institute, Pune. The report of the Empowered Committee in 2012 had found it safe to store up to 152 feet of water in the dam. Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, for the Central Water Commission, has already informed the court that the water level in the dam was 131.85 feet.

Tamil Nadu argued that, in any event the gross capacity of the Mullaperiyar dam at 12.76 TMC was much smaller when compared to that of Idukki dam (70.50 TMC) and Idamalaiyar dam (35.95 TMC) of Kerala in the Periyar basin.

“The State of Tamil Nadu is fully committed and concerned with the safety of the people living in the downstream of the Mullaperiyar dam. The officials of the two States [Tamil Nadu and Kerala] are exchanging information and all possible steps are being taken to safeguard the interest of both the States. Further, the officials of Kerala are fully kept informed about the hydrological data of the dam on day-to-day basis, and if necessary, at frequent intervals,” Tamil Nadu told the apex court.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 1:17:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tn-rubbishes-claims-on-disaster-for-mullaperiyar-dam/article32555767.ece

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