Chennai: Demolishing Kerala’s argument that water level has reached dangerous level in Mullaiperiyar dam, Tamil Nadu on Saturday informed the supervisory committee that a situation has not arisen for opening the dam gates.
Stoutly defending its stand that it would store water till 142 feet in Mullaiperiyar dam as per the May 7, 2014, order of the Supreme Court, Tamil Nadu, in its counter filed before the committee, copy of which is available with Deccan Chronicle, had submitted that the situation does not arise for opening the gates of the dam as the maximum rise in the water of Mullaiperiyar dam is 0.8feet (at 6am on Saturday) during the northeast monsoon period.
The chairman of the supervisory committee had suggested that if there is a two feet rise in water level over the next 24 hours, Tamil Nadu should start opening the dam gates.
“There is no risk of people living in the state of Kerala in Periyar valley even if the water level is raised up to 142feet to full reservoir level of 152feet. It is a bogie being created by Kerala from time to time,” TN submitted.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu described as “repeated false slogan” the allegation of Kerala that the people, particularly children are physically affected by the threat of dam collapse.
Recalling the minutes of 5th meeting of supervisory committee held on Thursday, TN reiterated that there was no justification to open the gates. However, TN also assured that it would operate the spillway gates in such a manner that it will not store water more than SC stipulated 142 feet and if there were a 2 feet rise in water level in the next 24 hours, the gates would be operated to release water downstream.
With the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam on TN border touching 141 feet, Kerala has put in place contingency plans for the safety of the people which included evacuation of families from vulnerable areas as at least one shutter of the reservoir could be opened any time.
According to Kerala revenue minister Adoor Prakash, the water level rose to 141 feet on Saturday as the inflow into the reservoir further increased. Prakash told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram that the government had worked out precautionary measures to meet the situation in case an eventuality arose posing threat to people living in downstream areas of the 117-year-old dam.
The disaster management teams had been geared up and they also imparted training to over 2,000 people in six panchayats on helping government agencies.