SC directs reducing water level at Mullaperiyar dam

SC directs reducing water level at Mullaperiyar dam

Indian Army soldiers rescue people from flood affected areas after the opening of Idamalayar, Cheruthoni and Mullaperiyar dam shutters following heavy rains, on the outskirts of Kochi. REUTERS photo

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the disaster management sub-committee to consider reducing the water level up to 139 feet from the existing 142 feet at the Mullaperiyar Dam, in view of "grave" flood situation in Kerala.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Indu Malhotra issued the directive by holding a meeting on Friday.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to his Tamil Nadu counterpart E K Palaniswami for lowering of the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam.

The court took up the matter for consideration saying that the flood situation in Kerala was "grim and grave".

The meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) and the Chief Secretaries of Tamil Nadu and Kerala was ordered to be held, to deal with the situation.

The court said if the physical presence of the officials for the meeting cannot be ensured, then the meeting should be held via video-conferencing. The court fixed the matter for hearing at 2 PM on Friday.

It also asked the Tamil Nadu and Kerala governments to cooperate with the NCMC for providing adequate relief to the displaced flood-affected families.

During the hearing, Kerala government said the water level of the Mullaperiyar dam should be reduced to 139 feet to ensure that there was no safety issue with the barrage itself.

Kerala resident Russel Roy made a plea before the court seeking, among other things, a direction to Tamil Nadu to manage the water level in the dam as the flood in Kerala has created a havoc.

The Centre, represented by Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha, informed the court that the NCMS headed by Cabinet Secretary had held a meeting on Thursday and all possible relief was being sent to the flood-affected people of Kerala.