TN CM Edappadi Palaniswami assured that the dam was safe in all aspects as per the SC's 2014 order.

Mullaperiyar safe maintaining water level at 142 ft EPS tells Pinarayi
news Rains Thursday, August 16, 2018 - 14:53

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami replied to his counterpart in Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, with regard to the safety of Mullaperiyar dam.

He wrote, “I would like to state that Mullaperiyar dam is safe in all respects viz., hydrologically, seismically and structurally as per the Supreme Court order dated 7.4.2014. During the past, the dam was inspected by many experts on several occasions who had also found that the dam was safe in all aspects.”

“As you are aware, the SC-appointed supervisory committee inspects the dam periodically and in the last inspection carried out on 4.8.2018, the committee has found that the dam is safe to store water up to 142 ft. Therefore, there is no threat to the safety of the dam and water is being stored at the permitted level of 142 ft as per the orders of the Supreme Court," he wrote.

In his letter, TN CM also wrote, "The government of Tamil Nadu has been transferring water for Mullaperiyar dam to Vaigai Basin to the maximum extent possible through the tunnel. When the inflows started to increase in the dam, there has been continuous coordination between engineers of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and the respective District Collectors. The Water Resources Department of Tamil Nadu is maintaining the releases through the spillways, so as to not exceed the permitted water storage level at 142 feet, duly giving periodic warnings to all concerned in Kerala."

CM Palaniswami said, “I would also like to point out that Kerala is not permitting TN officials to gauge the rainfall in the catchment areas, and officials are therefore compelled to asses the inflow only based on the actual rate of raise in water level in the dam. I would request you to inform your officials to share the rainfall data on the catchment of Mullaperiyar dam with TN officials on a real time basis.”

He added that as agreed by the two states, TN government had deposited a sum of Rs 1.65 crore with the Kerala State Electricity Board to restore power supply to the dam. “The government of Tamil Nadu has been in constant touch with the government of Kerala and  Kerala State Electricity Board to restore power supply to the dam, but of no avail. Hence I request you to kindly issue instructions to the authorities concerned to take immediate steps to restore power supply to the dam and its appurtenant structures.”

On Wednesday, Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to his TN counterpart requesting his intervention in the Mullaperiyar dam issue since the water level in the dam touched 142 feet.

The dam is located in Kerala but it is controlled and operated by the Tamil Nadu government. Pinarayi Vijayan had also written in the letter that Tamil Nadu engineers were not cooperating with Kerala officials to make sure that the water is released in such a way that it does not cause widespread damage.

Calling for EPS's intervention, Pinarayi Vijayan had urged his counterpart to ensure that the outflow of water from the dam is more than the inflow, in order to 'steadily bring down the water level to a safer 139 feet.'

"This is highly unfortunate because given the surge in inflows, ideally the storage should not have been allowed to go beyond 140 feet. Even now when the water level has reached 142 feet, the overall discharge from the dam is far below the total inflows which would mean that the SC mandated and allowable storage of 142 feet in the dam is likely to be breached even with complete releases of inflows," Pinarayi Vijayan wrote.

The catchment of Mullaperiyar Dam has been receiving torrential rainfall since early morning of 14th August, 2018 resulting in the water level in the dam rising steadily from 136.1 feet at 6 am of August 14 to 140 feet at 2.40 am of August 15, the letter said.

Show us some love! Support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.