MULLAPERIYAR DAM ISSUE

Context:

  • In the midst of severe rain in Kerala, the Supreme Court has ordered the Supervisory Committee to make an expedient and firm decision on the maximum water level that can be maintained at Mullaperiyar dam.

Background:

  • In 2014, the SC established a permanent Supervisory Committee to oversee all matters relating to the Mullaperiyar Dam. The dam has caused a squabble between Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

What exactly is the problem:

  • Kerala said the water level should not rise above 139 feet, which is the same limit set by the court on August 24, 2018, when the state was flooded.
  • Because if the dam’s water level is raised, the lives of 50 lakh people will be jeopardized.
  • Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, protested to the order, citing Supreme Court decisions from 2006 and 2014 that set the maximum water level at 142 feet.
So, what’s next:
  • The court ordered Kerala and Tamil Nadu officials to communicate appropriately and avoid putting lives in danger. The Court also said emphatically that this was not a political issue.
  • The supervisory committee must now decide on the maximum water level and notify the court of its decision.
What do you need to know about the Mullaperiyar Dam:
  • Although the dam is located in Kerala, it is operated by Tamil Nadu via a 999-year lease agreement made in 1886 between the Maharaja of Travancore and the Secretary of State for India for the Periyar Irrigation works (the Periyar Lake Lease Agreement).
  • The dam, which was built between 1887 and 1895, redirected the river’s flow to the Bay of Bengal rather than the Arabian Sea, providing water to the parched rain region of Madurai in Madras Presidency.
  • In Kerala’s Idukki district, the dam is built at the junction of the Mullayar and Periyar rivers.

 

What does Tamil Nadu have to say about it:
  • Despite taking steps to fortify the dam, Tamil Nadu argues that the Kerala government has prevented any move to boost the reservoir water level, causing losses to Madurai farmers.

 

Kerala’s reasons are as follows:
  • Residents in the earthquake-prone district of Idukki in Kerala, on the other hand, are concerned about disaster.
  • Scientists have said that if the region has an earthquake with a magnitude greater than six on the Richter scale, the lives of over three million people will be jeopardized.

Source: THE HINDU.

 

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