The Supreme Court on Friday ordered that the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam be maintained at 139 feet until August 31 due to the devastation caused by unprecedented floods in Kerala.
A bench consisting of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud considered the Centre’s submission that the sub-committee of the Mullaperiyar dam had met on August 23 and directed the Tamil Nadu government to ensure that the water level is maintained at 139 feet, which is two feet below the permissible limit fixed by the apex court.
The bench cleared that it would confine itself to the aspect of disaster management, and said that the decision to lower the water limit in the dam was taken in view of the recent deluge in Kerala.
The observation came after Tamil Nadu government alleged that “it could be a part of a sinister design” to circumvent the apex court’s decision fixing the permissible limit. The Tamil Nadu government termed the petition in the Supreme Court on Kerala floods as part of a “clever device to get out of the Mullaperiyar dam judgment”.
The bench has scheduled the next hearing of the matter for September 6, and asked Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka governments to file their responses.
The Kerala government Thursday informed the apex court that the sudden release of water from the Mullaperiyar dam by the Tamil Nadu government was one of the reasons for the devastating deluge in the state.
Out of a total population of about 3.48 crore, more than 54 lakh or one sixth of the population of Kerala, had been directly affected by the floods, the Kerala government alleged.
The Mullaperiyar dam is located on the Western Ghats near Thekkady in the Idukki district of Kerala on the Periyar river.