Mullaperiyar Dam Case: Supreme Court’s Stance

Mullaperiyar Dam Case: An Update on the Supreme Court’s Stance

The Mullaperiyar Dam, a 126-year-old structure, has been a longstanding point of contention between the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The dam’s safety, especially in light of flood alerts, has been a major concern, leading to multiple petitions and hearings in the Supreme Court.

Mullaperiyar Dam

In a recent hearing, the Supreme Court made a significant observation. The bench, comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar, stated that they were not viewing the dispute between Tamil Nadu and Kerala over the Mullaperiyar Dam in an adversarial manner. This statement came during the adjournment of a batch of petitions filed by Kerala-based petitioners who sought directions to ensure the dam’s safety.

The bench emphasized that their final decision would be based on the opinion of the Expert Committee, which the Court had constituted for supervising the dam. This committee’s role is crucial in determining the dam’s safety and maintenance aspects.

During the hearing, Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta, representing Kerala, asked for more time to respond to the reply affidavit that Tamil Nadu had filed just a day before. Taking into account the convenience of both parties, the bench decided to postpone the matter to November 22. Until the next hearing, the water level in the dam will be maintained as per the decision of the Supervisory Committee.

Advocate VK Biju, representing the Periyar Protection Movement, made a request for Tamil Nadu to produce the seepage data. He emphasized the need for an amicable solution rather than an adversarial approach, stating, “5 districts of Tamil Nadu need water, 5 districts of Kerala need protection.”

Senior Advocate Shekhar Naphade, representing Tamil Nadu, responded by saying that all records would be produced before the Court. He also mentioned that the new writ petition was just “one more attempt to keep the pot boiling.”

The Kerala Government had previously filed an affidavit challenging the rule curve adopted by the Supervisory Committee. They also suggested that the long-term solution to the problem was the decommissioning of the existing dam and the construction of a new one. In response, Tamil Nadu filed a counter-affidavit, asserting that the dam has been deemed “hydrologically, structurally, and seismically safe” by the Supreme Court.

In conclusion, the Mullaperiyar Dam issue remains a sensitive and ongoing matter. With both states presenting their arguments and concerns, it is now up to the Supreme Court and the Expert Committee to determine the best way forward, ensuring the safety of the dam and the well-being of the people in both states.

Source: Live Law

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