Agri Business

Kerala moots reduction of water level at Mullaperiyar

| | Updated on: Nov 24, 2011
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An all-party meeting held here late on Wednesday by the Chief Minister, Mr Oommen Chandy, proposed that water level in the Mullaperiyar reservoir be brought down to 120 feet.

This would bring down the volume of water to 7.5 tmc ft from the present 15 tmc ft, the Water Resources Minister, Mr P. J. Joseph, told newspersons after the meeting.

NEW DAM

But there could not be any dispute on the issue of constructing a new dam at Mullaperiyar to replace the aged one. The meeting also urged the Centre to take a holistic view of the Mullaperiyar dam issue.

Ideally, it should not be treated as one affecting the interests of two riparian States alone, Mr Joseph said.

Experts from the Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee commissioned by the State Government to study the seismicity of the region had hinted about its vulnerability.

Their report was that there could be earthquakes measuring up to 6.5 on the Richter scale.

Such a shake could compromise the very foundation of this old dam, which has developed cracks and is leaking.

In the light of this report and in the context of several tremors in the recent months in the region, Kerala wanted the Central Empowered Committee, before which the issue is pending, to call these experts for a session, Mr Joseph said.

“They are not just Keralites. They are Indians,” he said while describing the scale of a potential calamity if the century-old dam were give way and force down a destructive wall of 15 tmc ft of water into the Idukki reservoir a few kilometres downstream.

Given this background, the all-party meeting resolved to urge the Centre to immediately intervene in the matter.

SUPPLIES ASSURED

Kerala has assured the Centre that the barren districts in Tamil Nadu which depended on the Mullapperiyar reservoir would not lose even a single drop of its share even if a proposed new dam were to come up.

The Minister-in-charge of Disaster Management, Mr Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, who was also present, said the State would immediately open a Hazard Vulnerability Risk Assessment cell at Mullapperiyar.

It would also launch a programme to heighten the preparedness of the people downstream for facing a calamity.

Published on March 12, 2018

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