The Supreme Court on Monday heard an appeal saying the 160-year-old Mullaperiyar dam cannot operate for all time to come and the safety of the people living in the area is at stake.
A Supreme Court Bench of Justices D K Jain and A R Dave heard social activists C R Neelkandan and Joy Kaitharath of Citizen Network for Social Defence suggesting that water level in the reservoir should be lowered to 100ft from the present level of 136ft and that a new tunnel at about 50ft (in place of the tunnel which is at 104ft) be constructed to provide additional water to Tamil Nadu,which was otherwise a dead storage.
They had come in appeal after the Kerala High Court dismissed their petition in January 2012,saying a Constitution Bench of the SC was already seized of the matter.
The apex court on Monday ordered the appeal to be tagged along with the main suit in the Mullaperiyar dam row between Tamil Nadu and Kerala pending before the Constitution Bench,also headed by Justice Jain.
Arguing that the same suggestion was put forth as the second alternative by the Empowered Committee,the activists contended that the reduction of water storage in the reservoir would make the dam safe,which,in turn,would satisfy the demand of the people in Kerala.