Maintain Mullaperiyar water level at 139.99 ft: SC

The court also directed Tamil Nadu and Kerala to cooperate with the committee of the dam, which decided to lower the water level from 142 feet to 139.99 feet.

The Supreme Court on Friday directed authorities to maintain the water level at Mullaperiyar dam at 139.99 feet as far as practicable, since the issue related to “saving human lives in the situation of disaster” suffered by Kerala due to unprecedented rainfall and flood.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud took into record a submission made by Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha, representing the Union government, that the current status of reservoir and water level is at 139.99 feet at Mullaperiyar dam, which would be maintained till August 31.

The court also directed the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala to cooperate with the committee of the dam, which met on Thursday on lowering the water level from 142 feet to 139.99 feet.

“The present writ petition has nothing to do with any kind of dispute between the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, but relates to saving of human lives in the situation of disaster,” the bench said, referring to a plea filed by Russel Joy.

The Tamil Nadu government, represented by Shekhar Naphade and G Umapathy, expressed apprehension that the present petition could be a sinister design to lower the water level at the dam, earlier fixed by the apex court.

The court posted the matter for further consideration on September 5. It also asked Tamil Nadu and Karnataka governments to file their response.

The Tamil Nadu government also filed an affidavit contending that the petitioner tried to sensationalise the issue and misguide the court. “The release of water from Mullaperiyar dam was very little when compared to the release from Idukki dam and other large number of dams in Kerala due to unprecedented rainfall.

“The dams in Kerala were opened in the first week of August as they had reached the maximum level, but Mullaperiyar dam was opened only on August 14,” it said.

In an affidavit, Kerala on Thursday told the court that the sudden release of water from Mullaperiyar dam was one of the causes of deluge in the state, which has claimed the lives of 373 people and forced evacuation of 12.5 lakh people to 3,941 odd camps.

The state also sought a direction to set up a management committee, reporting directly to the supervisory committee, to manage the day-to-day operations of the Mullaperiyar dam.

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Maintain Mullaperiyar water level at 139.99 ft: SC

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