news Monday, January 05, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | November 16, 2014 | 10.10 pm IST Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam Sunday requested his Kerala counterpart to extend his cooperation in implementing the apex court's decision of storing water up to 142 ft in the Mullaperiyar Dam reservoir. In a letter to Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Panneerselvam said the Supreme Court May 5, 2014 had decreed in favour of Tamil Nadu and permitted the state to raise the water level in the Mullaperiyar Dam to 142 ft from the earlier storage levels of 136 ft. Panneerselvam said the apex court also directed in 2006 that Kerala cannot obstruct Tamil Nadu from increasing the water level in the dam to 142 ft and from carrying out repair works. "I, therefore, request you to extend full co-operation to implement the orders of the Constitution Bench of the Hon'ble Supreme Court to store water up to 142 ft in Mullai Periyar Dam," Panneerselvam said. Panneerselvam said the people in the five districts of Tamil Nadu are dependent on the waters of the Mullaperiyar Dam and the Vaigai Reservoir. He said the Vaigai Dam is primarily dependent on the North East Monsoon and the state has to utilise the flows of the Mullaperiyar Dam to meet the entire requirements of the Vaigai Basin depending on its own catchment and the diversion of water from the Mullaperiyarr Reservoir. "The operation of the Mullai Periyar Reservoir is managed in such a way as to obtain optimum utilisation of the available water considering the probable monsoon rainfall and the need. Therefore, the Government of Kerala cannot interfere with the regulation of flows from the Mullai Periyar Dam," he wrote. Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been at loggerheads over the dam, built under an 1886 accord between the then Maharaja of Travancore and the erstwhile British Raj. Though the dam is located in Kerala it is owned, maintained and operated by Tamil Nadu. The Kerala cabinet Saturday decided to file a case in the Supreme Court for lowering the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam. "The increase in the water storage level in Mullai Periyar Dam from June 2014 onwards is gradual and steady and not sudden. The rainfall in the catchment area is also not heavy," Panneerselvam said. "In this context, I would also like to point out that the Supreme Court appointed Supervisory Committee in the meeting held on 3.11.2014 had decided that there is apparently no immediate justification to open the Gates," he said. IANS
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