New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday reiterated its earlier direction to the National Committee for Crisis Management and the Disaster Management Sub Committee to explore the possibility of reducing the water level at Mullaiperiyar dam from 142 ft to 139 ft.
A Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud in a brief order said the situation caused by the floods prevailing in the state of Kerala requires to be addressed with focus, concentration and efficiency by all concerned, both at the national and state levels.
The court said it need not be over emphasized to state that this court is not an expert to issue any kind of guidelines to manage a situation of the present nature that had been taken note of by this court in the order passed on Thursday.
The Bench said “However, we suggest that the sub-committee constituted under Section 9 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the National Crises Management Committee (NCMC) and the committee can hold consultative meetings bearing two purposes in mind, namely, to explore the possibility of bringing down the water level at least to 139 feet and secondly, measures should be taken while releasing water from the dam to ensure that down stream inhabitants of that area are not affected.”
P.S. Narasimha, Additional Solicitor General, informed the court that the committee has commenced the meeting and it was in progress. He said that all efforts have been made by the Central government for involving the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu to deal with the calamity that has taken place.
He said he needed some time to place the report of the committee so that this court can appreciate the obtaining fact situation. He said the committee constituted by the cabinet secretariat is over-seeing constantly the real time disaster management of the water level.
The court said senior counsel H.P. Raval, appearing for the state of Kerala and Shekhar Naphade, senior counsel appearing for the state of Tamil Nadu, advanced their submissions, “but we are not entering into the said debate for the present.”
The order said “We may also note with profit that Manoj V.George, counsel appearing for the petitioner, has filed certain preliminary submissions. They shall be dealt with at the appropriate stage.”
Naphade said the water level has already crossed the maximum possible storage level of 142 ft and the level could be reduced to 139 ft so as to ensure structural satety of the dam. Raval contended that the rescue operation/rehabilitation of the people is being taken up with immense efforts by the state....