All-party meet in Kerala over rising water level in Mullapperiyar dam

The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) government in Kerala has decided to convene an all-party meeting to discuss the situation arising out of the rise in the water level in the 118-year-old Mullapperiyar dam.

By T K Devasia

Published: Thu 20 Nov 2014, 10:55 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 2:24 AM

A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the state cabinet on Wednesday. Talking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that the meeting will be held on November 26.

He said that the government would engage the opposition in all decisions being taken for the safety of the people. The government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to Tamil Nadu, which draws water from the dam, to bring down the water level to 136 feet.

Tamil Nadu had earlier informed the state government that it would maintain the water level at 142 feet, the maximum limit allowed by the apex court. The water level on Wednesday reached 141.6 feet. This is the highest water level during the last 22 year period. A five-member sub-committee, formed by the Supreme Court-appointed Supervisory Panel, inspected the dam on Tuesday. The committee chaired by U H Gireesh will again meet if the water level touches 142 feet mark.

The government fears that the water level may cross 142- mark as the flow of water into the dam is much stronger this time. Water level beyond 142 mark is considered by Kerala highly dangerous as far as the safety of the dam is concerned.

Water is flowing outside the dam through the several gaps of the dam, especially of the adjacent baby dam. Kerala had asked Tamil Nadu to lower the water level either by increasing the intake of water or by raising the shutters of the dam.

A meeting of MPs from Kerala at Trivandrum on Wednesday raised concern over the refusal by the TN government to consider the concerns of the people.

The chief minister who attended the meeting urged MPs to raise the issue in the next session of the Parliament which commences in December. The government also wants to take the issue before Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon.

The Kerala government had also requested the Tamil Nadu government to alarm it at least eight hours before releasing additional water. Idukki district collector Ajith Patil, who visted the dam premises said that the Tamil Nadu Public Works Department keeping mum on the request.

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