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Mullaperiyar dam: Kerala seeks PM's intervention

Mullaperiyar dam: Kerala seeks PMs intervention

New Delhi: Kerala Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in the Mullaperiyar dam issue "immediately" and impress upon Tamil Nadu to ensure that the storage level of the dam is maintained at around 136 feet.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Opposition Leader in state assembly V S Achuthanandan jointly met the PM here and submitted a memorandum stressing their concerns over the dam's safety.

They urged Modi to get Tamil Nadu to agree for construction of a new dam, which will continue to meet its water demand, while at the same time will not be endangering the lives and properties of the people of Kerala.

"Until such time that a consensus is reached on the construction of a new dam, impress upon Tamil Nadu to ensure storage level in the dam is maintained at around 136 feet and to avoid the contingency of a sudden discharge, and flooding of the downstream areas of the dam, in the event of huge inflows into the dam," they said in the memorandum.

Kerala also sought the Centre to impress upon the Chairman of the Supervisory Committee and CWC to ensure a fair hearing and treatment for Kerala's concerns.

"The Chairman may ensure that Tamil Nadu should not build up storage above 136 ft when if any one of the 13 spillway gates is not functional and to review the operational efficiency of the 13 spillway gates and the capacity of the generator power to operate these gates in the event of an emergency - something which the committee has not done due to the objections of Tamil Nadu," the memorandum added.

It may be recalled that the Centre had constituted a three-member supervisory committee headed by a senior Central Water Commission (CWC) official last year to supervise the restoration of Full Reservoir Level in the Mullaperiyar Dam to the elevation of 142 feet.

The Ministry of Water Resources had issued the order in the wake of a Supreme Court order on May 7 last year, which had allowed Tamil Nadu to raise the water level to 142 feet and ultimately to 152 feet after completion of strengthening measures on the dam.

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