Breaking News Mullaperiyar Dam: Plea in Supreme Court seeks direction to...

Mullaperiyar Dam: Plea in Supreme Court seeks direction to Centre to deploy central security forces

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New Delhi, Oct 3 (ILNS) A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Union of India to deploy any of the Central Security Forces at the Mullaperiyar dam for its protection immediately.

The petition has been filed by Stalin Baskaran through Advocate Narendra Kumar Verma. According to the petition, with the support of the Kerala government, all political parties and social activists in the state may demolish the Mullaperiyar Dam any time which provides solace to lakhs of people in Tamil Nadu.

It is stated in the petition that any of the national or international level studies and expert reports did not say that increasing water level is a threat to the dam, they said the only dam will not be able to withstand an earthquake of the magnitude of 6 on the Richter Scale. 

The petitioner alleged the agitators are led by different political backgrounds unnecessarily creating an atmosphere of fear and that there is no specific input on terror strike to the Dam but need to take all precautionary measures to protect it.

The Kerala Police is not allowing Tamil Nadu staff unhindered access for the maintenance of the dam. Kerala was obstructing the free access of its officials operating and maintaining the dam for long years but allowing free passage to mediapersons and anti-social elements, agitators, the petitioner further alleged.

The plea highlighted that instead of dealing with the Mullaperiyar dam controversy as a geopolitical conflict, it should be tackled as an institutional, legal and administrative failure in the region. Equitable distribution of the benefits of the shared resource is not an impossible task to achieve.

“Kerala government and political parties, personal interest social activists are spreading panic among the public about the safety of the Mullaperiyar dam which is not true. In view of the violent activities reported at the dam site, it is imperative that Central forces be deployed at the Mullaperiyar Dam immediately at the dam site to avert any man-made catastrophic consequences immediately.”

The petition said the Tamil Nadu government is cooperating with Kerala in a good manner on all issues, the CM said, adding that there were some areas where the two states have minor differences and this needed resolution through discussions. Central government studies have however suggested that the water level in the dam can be raised followed by efforts at strengthening the dam. 

“Farmers in Tamil Nadu maintain that water rights have already been established during the past century and cannot be reverted. The Kerala state lies, that the gross area irrigated by the Mullaperiyar reservoir actually not increased from 24,280 ha in 1896 to 69,200 ha in 1970-71 (when the water level was 46.3 meters) to 92,670 ha in 1994-95 (when the water level was reduced to 41.45 meters). Actually in Tamil Nadu that this is due to the modernization of the Periyar-Vaigai project, which reduced seepage losses by 6.7 thousand million cubic feet,” the plea reads.

It is pertinent to note that in October this year,  the Kerala Government has highlighted before the Supreme Court that the consequences of any failure of the Mullaperiyar dam (MPD) could be extremely catastrophic and beyond human imagination.
The Supreme Court on October 25 directed that an immediate decision be taken on the water level in the Mullaperiyar Dam.
The Division Bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and C.T. Ravikumar heard the two petitions seeking directions for proper monitoring of Mullaperiyar Dam, especially in wake of the flood situation in Kerala and termination of lease deed between States of Kerala & Tamil Nadu in relation to the dam.

In compliance with the order of the Supreme Court, the Central Water Commission and the Supervisory Committee filed the status report on October 14. The petitioners filed their reply to the status report on October 21./ILNS/SS/SNG/

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