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Terror threat to Mullaperiyar Dam, Tamil Nadu tells SC

July 03, 2015 12:54 IST

The Supreme Court on Friday sought response from the Kerala government on Tamil Nadu's plea that the security of Mullaperiyar Dam should be handed over to the Central Industrial Security Force. The Tamil Nadu government has told the apex court that the dam faced a terror threat.

A bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu issued notice on the plea which also sought that the Kerala government be not allowed to seek environmental clearance from the ministry of environment and forests for constructing a new dam.

Tamil Nadu, in its one of the applications, has sought a direction from the court that Kerala be restrained from conducting the environment impact assessment for its new proposed dam at the site.

The counsel for the Tamil Nadu government told the bench, also comprising Justices Amitava Roy and Arun Mishra, that as per the previous judgement in the case, any new dam can only be constructed at the site with consent of both of the states.

The Tamil Nadu government had on February 20 moved the apex court seeking deployment of CISF for protection of Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala. The security of the dam is presently with the Kerala government.

The Kerala government had also moved an application seeking clarification of the May 5, 2014 judgement by which the apex court had allowed the raising the water storage level of the dam to 142 feet. However, the application was withdrawn by the state later saying it would go before three-member Mullaperiyar committee.

The bench had accepted this request for withdrawal of the application in which Kerala had contended that the water storage should not be increased to 142 feet until all the 13 spillover gates of the dam are operational. It had said that only 12 were functional at the time of the judgement.

The Supreme Court on December 3 had dismissed the Kerala government's plea to review its May 7, 2014 verdict holding as safe the 120-year-old Mullaperiyar dam and allowing Tamil Nadu to raise water level to 142 feet and ultimately to 152 feet after completion of strengthening measures on the dam.

Mullaperiyar dam is a masonry dam and was constructed pursuant to the Periyar Lake Lease Agreement of October 29, 1886 across Periyar river. The construction continued for about eight years and was completed in 1895.

The dam is situated in Thekkady Idukki district in Kerala and is owned and operated by the Tamil Nadu government. The length of the main dam is 1200 feet and top of the dam is 155 feet.

With inputs from PTI