Kerala not allowing Mullaperiyar Dam maintenance, Tamil Nadu tells SC

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The Supreme Court on Thursday sought a response from Kerala on a plea from Tamil Nadu alleging that the neighbouring State is not allowing it to maintain the historic Mullaperiyar Dam.

A Bench, comprising Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and S.K. Kaul, issued notice to Kerala and fixed the plea for hearing in July second week.

Tamil Nadu, in its plea,sought the execution of the apex court judgment in the case, saying it has been held that it will have a right to maintain the dam while its security would be taken care of by Kerala.

Tamil Nadu has alleged that its officials are not allowed to perform the maintenance work.

Earlier, the apex court had rapped the Tamil Nadu government for seeking the deployment of the CISF for ensuring the safety and security of the dam, saying there cannot be a “perennial ‘amrit dhara’ kind of litigation,” forcing the State to withdraw it.

In its May 7, 2014 verdict, the Supreme Court held that the 120-year-old dam is safe, and allowed the Tamil Nadu government to raise the water level to 142 feet and ultimately to 152 feet after the completion of strengthening measures on the dam.

Kerala later moved the court for clarification on its verdict and contended that the water storage should not be increased to 142 feet until all the 13 spillover gates of the dam were operational.

The apex court had earlier too dismissed Kerala’s plea to review its 2014 verdict, saying there was no reason to interfere with the judgment of the Constitution Bench.

The dam is a masonry dam, constructed pursuant to the Periyar Lake Lease Agreement of October 29, 1886 across the Periyar river. The construction continued for about eight years and was completed in 1895.

The dam is situated in Idukki district of Kerala and is owned and operated by Tamil Nadu government. The length of the main dam is 1200 feet and top of the dam is 155 feet.

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