Mullaperiyar Dam: When will the way for development be given?
Mullaperiyar Dam: When will the way for development be given?

The decision regarding Mullaperiyar Dam is still not taken. Former Kerala Water Resources Minister NK Premachandran, present Member of Parliament, has asked that the state government must frame a case in the Supreme Court on the basis of the floods that occurred in the state in 2018, and utilize the provisions of The Dam Safety Bill, 2019 to establish the apex court of the safety concerns concerning the Mullaperiyar dam. The minister stated that the state government should carefully approach the apex court to highlight the feeble status of the Mullaperiyar dam and the rise in water levels in dams in Idukki in 2018 due to flooding.

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“Taking into account the antiquity of the dam, we need a new dam sooner or later. In that context, the state government should frame a case before the apex court citing the above reasons that we need the new dam at the earliest,” Premachandran added.  According to the Dam Safety Bill, 2019, “The dam owners will be responsible for the safe construction, operation, maintenance and supervision of a dam.”

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Tamil Nadu holds and maintains the Mullaperiyar dam, though the dam is situated in Kerala. The Supreme Court in its 2015 verdict had given permission to raise the water level of the dam to 142 feet, and till 152 feet after adequate strengthening measures. Experts are also rallying for a new dam in the place of the current dam. Joshy KA, a former chief engineer with the Irrigation Department who supervised the dam on several occasions, told this reporter that a new dam is the only solution as the existing dam's structure is questionable.

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