Why is Tamil Nadu obeying Kerala law on Mullaperiyar: Jayalalithaa

Why is Tamil Nadu obeying Kerala law on Mullaperiyar: Jayalalithaa

She alleged the Tamil Nadu government did not lower the dam shutters to raise the storage level to 142 ft, despite being armed with a Supreme Court order.
In a statement issued here Sunday, Jayalalithaa citing the apex court's order in 2006 said: "Not one but three monsoons have brought in water into the Mullaperiyar reservoir.

"Still Karunanidhi (Tamil Nadu chief minister) did not instruct his officials to lower the gates of the dam to raise the water level to 142 feet! Who is at fault? Karunanidhi? the Kerala government? or the Supreme Court?"
Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been at loggerheads over the Mullaperiyar dam built under an agreement signed in 1886 between the then maharaja of Travancore and the British administration.

The dam, located in Kerala's Idukki district, serves Tamil Nadu. In recent years, Tamil Nadu has demanded that the storage capacity of the dam be raised from 136 feet (41.5 m) to 142 feet (43 m) to meet the increasing demand of water for irrigation. However, Kerala is seeking the construction of a new dam, saying that the existing structure had outlived its life.

"On Feb 27, 2006, when I was the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, the Supreme Court, while passing orders in the Mullaperiyar issue, accepted the Tamil Nadu government's line of reasoning and ordered that the water level in the dam could be raised from the present 136 feet to 142 feet," Jayalalithaa said.

"By the time the rains came and water flowed into the Mullaperiyar reservoir, the minority regime headed by Karunanidhi was in power in Tamil Nadu. It was up to this government to lower the gates of the dam and increase the level of water to 142 feet and give effect to the apex court's order."
She charged that "for reasons best known to Karunanidhi himself", he did not give the orders for this.

She wondered since when was the Tamil Nadu chief minister bound to follow laws enacted by the Kerala government. She posed: "When Karunanidhi had the Supreme Court's order to back him, why did he give credence to a local law of the Kerala government."

While the Supreme Court gave its order in favour of Tamil Nadu to raise the storage levels to 142 ft in February 2006, the Kerala government passed a law effectively nullifying the judgment in March that year.
Opposing the Kerala law, Tamil Nadu had filed a case in the Supreme Court in 2006, which the court after hearing for nearly three years referred to a five-member constitution bench Nov 10.