New Delhi, Feb 27 (UNI) In a major victory for the Tamil Nadu government, the Supreme Court today permitted raising of the water level in the Mullaiperiyar dam from the present 136 feet to 142 feet.
A three-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal, Mr Justice C K Thakkar and Mr Justice P K Balasubramanyam, allowed petitions filed by the Tamil Nadu government and Janata Party President Dr Subramanian Swamy.
Regarding the issue of further raising the water level to 152 feet, the court asked the Tamil Nadu government to appoint an expert committee to determine if the repair work already undertaken was sufficient for the purpose.
The court had reserved its verdict in November last after hearing the Centre, the Tamil Nadu government, the Kerala government and others.
While Mr Swamy and the Tamil Nadu government had in their petitions pleaded for raising the water level to 142 ft, Kerala had opposed it.
At the instance of the apex court, the Centre had appointed an expert committee which in its report recommended raising the water level initially to 142 ft. The committee, after taking into consideration the stability of the dam, stress and strength analysis and every other aspect had refuted the apprehensions of the Kerala government about the safety of the dam, if the water level was raised.
The Centre has accepted the report and informed the court accordingly.
It was the contention of the Tamil Nadu government that the committee had suggested strengthening measures but engineers from Tamil Nadu were prevented from carrying out the necessary repairs.
It said that since 2001, Tamil Nadu was deprived of the benefits of raising the water level and the estimated loss of power generation of 171 million units.
Kerala's stand had also prevented Tamil Nadu from irrigating thousands of acres of paddy growing land, it was further alleged.
However, Kerala had maintained that the expert committtee's report was unreliable, not scientific and the state's views were not properly considered.
UNI AKS/SC CS DS1156