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Mullaperiyar water level touches 142 feet

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Mullaperiyar water level touches 142 feet
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Kumaly: After a gap of three-and-a-half decades, the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam touched the 142-ft mark in the wee hours of Friday.

The rising water level has raised concern over the safety of thousands of people living downstream. The situation has deteriorated further as Tamil Nadu slowed down the intake of water from the dam.

On Thursday morning, the water level in the reservoir had stood at 141.85 feet with storage capacity of 7,599 mcft.

Meanwhile, Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati has called a meeting of water resources ministers of Tamil Nadu and Kerala to discuss the issue of rising water level in the Mullaperiyar dam.

"I have called for a meeting of both the states' representatives Saturday (in Delhi) and have also decided to include the Central Water Commission to discuss the rising water level in the Mullaperiyar dam," she said in New Delhi.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said Kerala always had very good relations with Tamil Nadu and he would seek the help of the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal to find a solution to this problem.

"Certainly fears are there for the people who live in and around the dam. We are sure that we will be able to defuse the crisis," said Chandy.

Kerala has been insisting that the level be maintained at 136 feet while Tamil Nadu wants to raise it to 142 feet. Tamil Nadu takes water from the reservoir for irrigation purposes in five districts.

The Supreme Court had earlier this year rejected Kerala's demand for a new dam in place of the 120-year-old reservoir and upheld Tamil Nadu's stand to peg the level up to 142 feet.

Political parties in Tamil Nadu have been pressing the AIADMK government to increase the level, while expressing concern over Kerala knocking at the doors of the apex court again on November 15, seeking to lower the level and divert the surplus to Vaigai dam near Madurai.

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