Mullaperiyar war reaches Supreme Court

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Satellite image of Mullaperiyar dam
New Delhi, Dec 13: With the Mullaperiyar issue finally in court, the five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court will hear the cross applications moved by Tamil Nadu and Kerala seeking the SC's involvement in the controversial issue. The matter will be heard by the justice bench comprising D K Jain, R M Lodha, Deepak Verma, C K Prasad and A R Dave at 3.30 pm.

The apex court, apart from hearing the application by the two states will also hear the application moved by the DMK. The Tamil Nadu side had moved the court after it alleged that the Kerala government was creating a "fear psychosis" among its people regarding the Mullaperiyar dam issue. On Dec 1, TN had sought the court's direction to bar Kerala from making any controversial statement on the issue.

Tamil Nadu also cited that Kerala was not complying with the Supreme Court order that asked for a status quo and was making statements that wanted the 116-year-old dam be decommissioned and a new dam be built.

Among the other points of contention is the apex court's ruling that upheld Tamil Nadu's decision to increase the water level in the dam in 2006. Kerala, had however brought a resolution to reduce the water level in 2009 citing the physical damages in the Mullaperiyar dam following wear and tear and the frequent tremors in the area.

Hurt by Kerala's move, Tamil Nadu had cried foul and stated that it has disregarded the decision of the highest court order of the country.

On Nov 11, 2009, the Supreme Court had referred the contentious matter before the Constitution Bench ruled for status quo to be maintained by both states with regards to the dam. Another order on Feb 18, 2010 by the justice bench directed the central government to constitute an empowered committee to go into the safety aspect of the dam.

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