New Delhi | The Supreme Court today sought Centre’s response on a plea by Tamil Nadu government seeking deployment of CISF for protection of Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala. The security of the dam is presently with the Kerala government. A bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice A K Sikri issued notice to the Centre and posted the matter after four weeks.
The day’s hearing also saw Kerala moving a plea seeking clarification of the May 5, 2014 judgement by which the apex court had allowed the raising the water storage level of the dam to 142 feet. Hours after the plea was refused, the bench recalled its order on the request of the senior advocate Rajiv Dhawan, who said that the Kerala government would like to withdraw the application and go before the three-member Mullaperiyar committee.
The bench accepted his request for withdrawal of the application in which Kerala had contended that the water storage should not be increased to 142 feet until all the 13 spillover gates of the dam are operational. It said that only 12 were functional at the time of the judgement. Kerala has further sought that water level should be raised above 136 feet only after exhausting storage into Vaigai. The Supreme Court on December 3 had dismissed the Kerala government’s plea to review its May 7, 2014 verdict holding as safe the 120-year-old Mullaperiyar dam and allowing Tamil Nadu to raise water level to 142 feet and ultimately to 152 feet after completion of strengthening measures on the dam.
The apex court had also rejected the plea for giving open court hearing and said there was no reason to interfere with the judgement of its five-judge Constitution Bench. Mullaperiyar dam is a masonry dam and was constructed pursuant to the Periyar Lake Lease Agreement of October 29, 1886 across Periyar river.
The construction continued for about eight years and was completed in 1895. The dam is situated in Thekkady district in Kerala and is owned and operated by Tamil Nadu government. The length of the main dam is 1200 feet and top of the dam is 155 feet.
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