The Supreme Court Friday asked the Centre to respond to a plea by the Tamil Nadu government for deployment of CISF for protection of Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala. The security of the dam is presently with the Kerala government.
A bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice A K Sikri issued notice to the Centre and posted the matter after four weeks. The day’s hearing also saw Kerala moving a plea for clarification of the May 5, 2014 judgment by which the apex court had allowed raising the water storage level of the dam to 142 feet.
However, hours after the plea was not entertained by the bench, it was allowed to be withdrawn on a request by senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who said the Kerala government would rather want to go before the three-member Mullaperiyar committee.
In its application, Kerala had contended that the water storage should not be increased to 142 feet until all the 13 spillover gates of the dam are operational. It said only 12 were functional at the time of the judgment. Kerala has further sought that water level should be raised above 136 feet only after exhausting storage into Vaigai.
The Supreme Court on December 3 had dismissed the Kerala government’s plea to review its May 7, 2014 verdict holding as safe the 120-year-old Mullaperiyar dam and allowing Tamil Nadu to raise water level to 142 feet and ultimately to 152 feet after completion of strengthening measures on the dam. Mullaperiyar dam is a masonry dam, constructed pursuant to the Periyar Lake Lease Agreement of October 29, 1886. The dam is situated in Thekkady district in Kerala and is owned and operated by Tamil Nadu.