With rains lashing, Kerala CM asks TN CM to reduce water level in Mullaiperiyar

With rains lashing, Kerala CM asks TN CM to reduce water level in Mullaiperiyar

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday wrote to his Tamil Nadu counterpart Edappadi Palaniswami seeking his intervention to reduce the water level in the Mullaiperiyar Dam in Idukki district to 139 feet.

In his letter, Vijayan said that the Tamil Nadu engineers in charge of the dam were not cooperating with Kerala in this matter.

The catchment areas of the dam were continuing to receive heavy rainfall. The water level in the dam, which is now at 142 feet, has to be regulated taking into account the safety of the structure.

The contentious Mullaiperiyar Dam issue between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, which is now before the Supreme Court following heavy rains over the past week, is likely to trigger fresh tension between the two states.

Although the dam is located in Kerala, it serves and is operated by Tamil Nadu, and Kerala has for long been demanding de-commissioning of the dam which has over the years developed leaks.

Mullaiperiyar dam was among the 33 dams in Kerala whose sluice gates have been opened to release excess water, after heavy rains in their catchment areas.

While Kerala had said the dam was dangerous and needed to be replaced by a new structure, Tamil Nadu had sought an increase in its height. The Supreme Court, which had set up a committee headed by former Chief Justice of India AS Anand to check the condition of the dam in 2010, had ruled for Tamil Nadu in its verdict in 2014, allowing the raising of its height from 136 feet to 142 feet.