The verdict was given out by a five-judge constitution bench of Justices DK Jain, RM Lodha, Deepak Verma, CK Prasad and AR Dave giving Tamil Nadu the green signal for the repair and cleaning work and also dredging of the silt from the century-old reservoir. The Mullaperiyar dam issue had caused an ugly spat between neighbours Tamil Nadu and Kerala over safety concerns.
The court also ordered that the cleaning and repair work has to be carried out in the presence of a superintending engineer nominated by Kerala government and a member of Central Water Commission to rule out any chance of dispute.
As per the application moved in the Supreme Court, Tamil Nadu had stated that "certain additional routine maintenance and repair work (apart from those mentioned in the earlier petition of 2011) are required to be carried out on the dam structure on an urgent basis." They had added that the pending work was stalled due to inspection by the empowerment committee earlier.
TN had requested the apex court's permission on the repair work that included the relaying of the wearing coat on the top of "baby dam"; also to be done was the removing of silt and debris for which Kerala is to give unsolicited entry to the leading channel and the tunnel from its side. They also pleaded that the Kerala side be directed to erect warning boards and iron gates in and around the dam premises.
The Supreme Court is yet to look into the report of the empowered committee since it would require a detailed hearing of arguments from both states as well as the Central Water Commission that is headed by former CJI AS Anand.