Mullaperiyar Dam: SC orders constitution of 3 Committees to deal with Disaster Management
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Mullaperiyar Dam: SC orders constitution of 3 Committees to deal with Disaster Management

Murali Krishnan

The Supreme Court today ordered the Central Government and the States of Kerala and Tamil Nadu to constitute a committee each to deal with disaster management issues with respect to the Mullaperiyar dam.

A Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud passed the order, in a petition filed by one, Russel Joy, raising among other issues, the lack or preparedness in the event of a disaster.

Advocate Manoj V George appeared for the petitioner with Attorney General KK Venugopal representing the Centre.

The petitioner raised the following issues in the matter:

  1. Life span of the dam
  2. Alleviating fear of persons living downstream
  3. Special Disaster Management scheme in view of the special features of the dam
  4. Persons who live in the proximity of the dam compelled to live in constant fear which violates Article 21.

The Court noted the above before directing that the Centre, Tamil Nadu and Kerala to constitute committees to deal with disaster management with respect to Mullaperiyar dam.

The Court in its order also made it clear that its directions does not suggest that there is any question mark with respect to the safety of the dam.

In 2014, the Supreme Court had found that the Mullaperiyar dam was secure enough to allow Tamil Nadu to increase the water levels to 142 feet from its then 136 feet. Subsequent pleas made by Kerala to review its verdict, citing apprehensions that the dam was not safe enough, were also dismissed by the Apex Court.

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