Responding to Kerala’s allegations that the sudden release of water from Mullaperiyar dam caused the flooding, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said that it was a deliberate accusation to prevent TN from raising the level of Mullaperiyar dam to 152 feet.
The response comes in the wake of the Government of Kerala filing an affidavit in the Supreme Court on Thursday stating that the sudden release of water from Mullaperiyar dam forced the authorities to release more water from Idukki dam, causing flooding in the region.
The affidavit further said that in the wake of prior alerts by its engineers, Kerala Water Resources Secretary had written to its counterpart in Tamil Nadu and the Chairman of the Supervisory Committee on Mullaperiyar dam, requesting a controlled release of water without waiting for the water level in the reservoir to reach its full level. However, no positive response was received on this regard from the Tamil Nadu officials.
The TN CM rubbished the claims and said, “In addition to Mullaperiyar dam, water was discharged from other 80 dams in the state. It is not solely due to water released from Mullaperiyar dam. In fact, we opened the shutters of Mullaperiyar only a week after that area was flooded with water. We gave three warnings when the water reached 139 ft, 141 ft and 142 ft. Even when we released water, it was a small amount - 11,000 to 12,000 cusecs. Hence, the flood was not caused due to the release of water from Mullaperiyar.”
It further said that an Expert Committee from the Centre had visited the dam a month before the floods happened and said that it was strong enough to hold 142 ft of water in it.
“Even the Secretary of our Public Works Department (PWD) was a part of the inspection team that was sent by the Central Government. The rains came around 20 days after this inspection. It rained across the state and not just in the Mullaperiyar region. If it was just the region around Mullaperiyar, then Kerala’s claims are true. But the entire state was flooded due to water from dams across the state,” he added.
The Mullaperiyar reservoir, which is wholly situated in Kerala, in the upper reaches of the Western Ghats above Idukki reservoir, is operated by the Tamil Nadu government.