New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the Tamil Nadu government to maintain the water level at the Mullaperiyar dam at 139 feet till August 31 keeping in mind the grave devastation that has taken place due to the unprecedented floods in Kerala.
The apex court also said it will not deal with dispute over the dam between Tamil Nadu and Kerala governments; instead it will deal only with the disaster management committee.
“We are only concerned with the safety and lives of people,” Chief Justice Dipak Mishra told legal officers representing Tamil Nadu.
The court’s ruling comes a day after the Pinarayi Vijayan government alleged that the sudden release of water from the Mullaperiyar Dam by the Tamil Nadu government was one of the reasons for devastating floods in Kerala.
The court’s observation came after Tamil Nadu government alleged that “it could be a part of a sinister design” to circumvent the apex court’s decision fixing the permissible limit. The bench fixed the matter for hearing on September 6 and asked Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to file their responses in the meantime.
The Supreme Court, on August 17, had asked the National Committee for Crisis Management and the disaster management sub-committee to explore the possibility of reducing the water level at Mullaperiyar dam to 139 feet after it touched 142 feet.
The Mullaperiyar Dam is located on the Western Ghats near Thekkady in Idukki district of Kerala on the Periyar river.