Supreme Court allows Tamil Nadu to raise Mullaperiyar height
The Supreme Court has given permission to Tamil Nadu to raise the height of a 116-year-old Mullaperiyar Dam from 136 feet to 142 feet quashing the objections raised by Kerala which opposed the move citing safety concerns of the dam and nearby areas.
The decision marks second consecutive defeat for Kerala as on February 27, 2006 the court permitted Tamil Nadu to raise the dam height and carry out necessary repairs setting aside Kerala’s objections on safety. A month after the judgment, Kerala passed a law — Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation (Amendment) Act 2006 fixing the full reservoir level of dam at 136 feet.
Tamil Nadu challenged the constitutional validity of this law that has now been declared null and void by the apex court. The court was fully satisfied that the dam was safe after an Expert Committee submitted its report assuring safety of dam from all aspects — hydrological, structural and seismic safety. Besides, it observed no change in circumstances since its earlier order of 2006. However, the court’s judgment would facilitate TN to divert more water for its agricultural purposes.