Kerala should abide by SC order on raising water level: Jaya

Mullaperiyar Dam
Chennai, Dec 1: Disputing Kerala's claim that the Mullaperiyar dam is in tremor zone, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said it is "as good as new" and that the neighbouring state should abide by the Supreme Court order by allowing the water level to be raised to 142 feet.

In a letter to her Kerala counterpart Ommen Chandy, who wrote to her earlier in the day, Jayalalithaa said that while she and her government would always seek to protect the safety and security of the people, "we should also guard against unfounded fears overtaking reason and ground realities".

"Informed decision making at the government level should be based on reason rather than on extraneous factors," she said, requesting Chandy to ensure Kerala abide by the apex court order which has taken into consideration all safety aspects of the dam and allow the water level to be raised to 142 feet.

On Kerala's claim that there were 22 tremors in the last four months, Jayalalithaa said as per Indian Meteorological Department data, there had been only four mild tremors in the last four months, that too far away from the vicinity of the dam site which did not have an effect on seepage in the dam.

"The seepage of the dam is well within permissible limits as per the Indian Standards code. The possibility of tremors of even medium magnitude does not exist in the Mullaperiyar dam site. The possibility of the dam breaching due to flood waters and collapsing is not logical since all eventualities have been factored in during strengthening of the dam," she said.

Referring to the "unwarranted provocations from across the border" and the fear psychosis generated in Kerala, Jayalalithaa said the apex court had ordered raising of the water level in the dam to 142 feet after considering the report of its expert committee.

She said the Tamil Nadu government had carried out a series of measures from 1980 to 1994 to strengthen the dam and that the retrofitted Mullaperiyar dam is as good as new after these measures were carried out.

"The Supreme Court had also factored this in while pronouncing its judgement in 2006, allowing Tamil Nadu initially to store water up to 142 feet," she said, adding that a series of studies such as scanning the upstream face of the dam, testing the cable anchors and non-destructive tests have been conducted and some are in progress.


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