Kerala reiterates demand for new dam

Kerala reiterates demand for new dam

As water level at the Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala’s Idukki district stayed just short of the permissible limit of 142 ft on Wednesday, Kerala has reiterated its long-debated demand for a new dam to replace the present 120-year-old dam.

Speaking with reporters after a Cabinet meeting here, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the state would continue to pursue the demand.

“A new dam in Mullaperiyar is inevitable, it could happen either now or later. Kerala is pitching for a move in this direction now itself,” Chandy said. Heavy showers in catchment areas of the reservoir over the past couple of days had led to an increase in water level at the dam which is located in Kerala but maintained and operated by Tamil Nadu.

The Supreme Court had, last year, stipulated 142 ft as the permissible water level in the dam. While Tamil Nadu maintained the level strictly near 142 ft, Kerala has been seeking a more lenient approach and requesting Tamil Nadu to draw more water, citing security concerns of residents in downstream areas. While Tamil Nadu drew 2,000 cusecs on Tuesday, excess water was also released into the Idukki reservoir through Periyar river, leading to Kerala’s charges that the shutters were lifted without the stipulated 12-hour notice.

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