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Monday, December 06, 2021

Mullaperiyar: Water level will be increased to 152 ft after strengthening baby dam, says TN Minister

Tamil Nadu and Kerala have been at loggerheads over the century-old dam, with Kerala insisting the reservoir is not safe, and wants a new one in its place while its neighbour has been maintaining it was strong.

By: PTI | Theni |
Updated: November 6, 2021 7:07:49 am
Mullaperiyar dam: Located in Kerala, controlled by Tamil Nadu. (Express)

Amid his state’s ongoing standoff with Kerala over the Mullaperiyar dam issue, Tamil Nadu Water Resources Minister Duraimurugan on Friday said the water level in the reservoir would be raised to 152 feet after strengthening the baby dam.

He also said he thinks the issue could be resolved only during the ‘time’ of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Tamil Nadu and Kerala have been at loggerheads over the century-old dam, with Kerala insisting the reservoir is not safe, and wants a new one in its place while its neighbour has been maintaining it was strong.

Talking to reporters after inspecting the Mullaperiyar dam, managed by Tamil Nadu, Duraimurugan also lashed out at the opposition AIADMK for announcing a protest on the issue against the state government, saying its top leaders, including K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam, had not visited the dam in the last 10 years when the party was in the ruling saddle.

Asked about Vijayan’s statement that the dam was ‘strong’ but Kerala would hold talks with Tamil Nadu for a new structure and if the state was okay with it, the minister said he had “great respect” for the Kerala CM.

“I know him personally for a long time. He is a honest, cordial chief minister. I think this issue will end only during his time,” Duraimurugan added.

On the issue of storage of water in the dam, it was in line with the Rule Curve proposed by the Central Water Commission, the minister said, adding, the state has taken “urgent, medium and long-term measures” to strengthen the dam ever since the issue was first raised in 1979 and ultimately wants to increase the level to 152 feet after strengthening the baby dam.

Three trees were required to be removed for this purpose, he said and indicated that the Kerala authorities were not doing so.

“Soon, if those trees are removed, we will build (strengthen) baby dam and if done so we can go to (water level of) 152 feet as per the Supreme Court judgment,” he added.

The Minister was accompanied by his cabinet colleague I Periasamy and PWD Additional Chief Secretary Sandeep Saxena, among others.

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