Mullaperiyar safe: Kerala AG

Mullaperiyar safe: Kerala AG

Published: Saturday, Dec 3, 2011, 8:45 IST
By Kumar Chellappan | Place: Chennai | Agency: DNA

Kerala’s fears that the 116-year-old Mullaperiyar Dam would burst and devastate four districts of the state were nailed by its own advocate general who has submitted in the high court that the dam is safe.

“Even if the Mullaperiyar Dam bursts, the entire water gushing out of the dam could be stored in the dams at Idukki, Cheruthoni and Kulamavu downstream,” KP Dandapani, the state’s advocate general, told a division bench of the Kerala high court on Friday. This is in total contrast to the three-decade old stance of the Kerala government.

The submission was in response to the court’s directive to inform it about the safety measures adopted by the Kerala government in the eventuality of any disaster in the Mullaperiyar Dam.

The advocate general later clarified that what he meant was that the Idukki dam has the capability to store the entire water from the Mullaperiyar Dam.

The advocate general’s comments has infuriated both the ruling and opposition fronts in the state as they came out against him and immediately demanded his ouster.

What he told the high court was based on a Supreme Court judgment in 2006 which allowed the Tamil Nadu government to increase the water level to 142 ft from the present 136 ft. The reduction of water level in the Mullaperiyar Dam from 152 ft to 136 ft in 1978 following the Kerala government’s fears of the safety of the dam had brought down its storage capacity from 15 TMC ft to 10 TMC ft.

The Idukki dam, 30 km downstream, has a storage capacity of 71 TMC ft and the reservoir remained only half filled ever since it was commissioned in 1976. The Kerala government’s claim was that if the Mullaperiyar Dam bursts, the resultant flood would devastate the four districts of Idukki, Ernakulam, Kottayam and Alappuzha and 35 million people.

 

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