What is the dispute regarding the Mullaperiyar Dam (#GS III)

  • Why in the news?
  • The Supreme Court has scheduled a hearing on the Mullaperiyar Dam Controversy on December 10, 2021.
  • To settle the Mullaperiyar dam issue concerning Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the Ministry of Jal Shakti has created a three-member Supervisory Committee in the midst of torrential rains in Kerala.
  •  At the centre of a Decade-Old Controversy:
  • The project threatens lakhs of people living downstream in Kerala, while the water it provides is a lifeline for residents of the dam's five districts in Tamil Nadu.
  • Reasons for the recent resurfacing of the Dispute:
  • Recent heavy rains have increased the water flow in the Mullaperiyar dam.
  • Flooding could occur if excess water from Mullaperiyar spills into the Idukki reservoir downstream.
  • The SC agreed in 2018 to keep the water limit in the Mullaperiyar reservoir two or three feet underneath the legal limit of 142 feet as an emergency safeguard against floods or other disasters.
  • About the Mullaperiyar Dam:
  • Mullaperiyar Dam is a dam erected at the confluence of the Mullayar and Periyar rivers in Kerala's Idukki district.
  • The reservoir is located within the Periyar Tiger Reserve, and it is operated and maintained by Tamil Nadu to supply the potable water and irrigation demands of five districts in the state's south.
  • During British rule, the functional rights were granted to Tamil Nadu through a 999-year lease agreement.
  • The water diverted from the reservoir is used to create electricity in Tamil Nadu's lower Periyar region before flowing into the Suruliyar, a tributary of the Vaigai river, and being used to irrigate around 2.08 lakh hectares in Theni and four other districts farther away.
  • Periyar River Information:
  • The Periyar River flows through the Periyar National Park and originates in the Sivagiri highlands of Tamil Nadu's Western Ghats.
  • The Periyar River is Kerala's longest river, measuring 244 kilometres in length.
  • It is also known as Kerala's 'Lifeline,' as it is one of the state's few perennial rivers
  • The Periyar's main tributaries are Muthirapuzha, Mullayar, Cheruthoni, and Perinjankutti.
  • Information on the Idukki Dam:
  • The dam is located between the Kuravanmala (839 m) and Kurathimala (839 m) mountains in Kerala (925 m).
  • Located on the Periyar River in Kerala, in a valley between the Kuravan and Kurathi Hills, it is Asia's third highest peak arch dam and one of Asia's highest arch dams.
  • It was built and is now owned by the Kerala State Electricity Board. A hydroelectric power station with a capacity of 780 MW is located there.

Source : THE HINDU. 

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