'Matter of People's Lives': SC Raps Kerala, TN Over Mullaperiyar Dam Water Level

Located in Kerala, the Mullaperiyar dam is managed from Tamil Nadu.

2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Mullaperiyar dam.</p></div>

The Supreme Court on Monday, 25 October, pulled up the state administrations of Kerala and Tamil Nadu over their ill-coordination in matters relating to the Mullaperiyar Dam in wake of the torrential rainfall that ravaged Kerala earlier in the month.

Over 20 lives were lost after heavy downpour, flash floods and landslides wreaked havoc in the state starting 16 October.

The court ordered, "We direct all the parties to consult each other in coordination with (the) state governments. Take a call on the water-level. Do it with immediacy. It's a very serious issue. It's a matter of people's lives and property," NDTV quoted.

The court's directions came whilst hearing a petition which sought to throw light on the water level in Mullaperiyar Dam, which has been the cause of a state dispute between Kerala and TN for many years.

What Else Happened in Court

The two-judge bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar went on to urge the state governments to fix a maximum water level to be maintained.

Located in Kerala, the dam is managed from Tamil Nadu.

Justice Khanwilkar underlined,

"We don't know what risk factors are involved. Committee needs to decide this. We can't decide water levels. This has to be decided immediately, in a day or two."

Meanwhile, the state of Kerala submitted that the matter required serious consideration. According to a 2018 judgement by the apex court, the dam height was to be maintained at 139 feet.

However, the state underlined that "there is an immediate need to raise it higher. If that is not done, it will cause harm to people in the lower stream," NDTV quoted.

In the past, Kerala's state administration has complained of the TN government releasing water suddenly in the past.

(With inputs from NDTV and LiveLaw.)

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