Mullaperiyar dam not safe, if it breaks then may lead to catastrophic: Kerala govt to SC

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New Delhi: Mullaperiyar dam is not safe and if it breaks down then may lead to catastrophic results, Kerala government told the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Appearing for Kerala Government, Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta has made various submissions before a bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice CT Ravikumar. The Supreme Court was hearing the matter relating to Mullaiperiyar Dam, a longstanding dispute between the States of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The Kerala Government pointed out that the dispute between two neighbouring states is not relating to sharing of waters but the safety of dams. The state government also stressed that the Mullaperiyar dam is not safe and if the water level keeps rising, then the water has to be discharged or released.

It suggested that the only solution is to make a new dam in the downstream region as if the Mullaperiyar dam breaks then it would have a catastrophic effect. As the argument remained inconclusive, the court would continue hearing the matter on Thursday.

In an affidavit filed recently, the Kerala government has urged the Supreme Court that all tests and investigations should be conducted to check the hydrological, seismic and structural safety of the Mullaperiyar dam.

It has also urged the top court that the committee should ensure that the study should be conducted with the participation of the officers of Kerala.

A fresh review of the safety of Mullaperiyar by an Independent Panel of experts comprising qualified engineers and experts in the respective fields including design, geology, hydrology, hydro-Mechanical dam safety, construction and supervision, instrumentation, seismicity should be conducted and Central Water Commission (CWC) should consider including international experts also, Kerala government has submitted the affidavit before the top court.

It has also suggested that comprehensive dam safety review procedures should be carried out in accordance with the Guidelines for Safety Inspection of Dams, January 2018.

It has also urged that the terms of reference of the study and details of the agencies for conducting the tests should be shared with the party States and approved by the Supervisory Committee.

Tamil Nadu had urged the Supreme Court to direct the State of Kerala to cooperate and provide all necessary assistance in a time-bound manner so that the remaining strengthening and maintenance works of Mullaiperiyar Dam implemented in letter and spirit. (ANI)

first published:March 23, 2022, 8:01 p.m.

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