Union govt forms new organisation under Dam Safety Act to manage Mullaperiyar Dam

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Mullaperiyar dam | Photo: Sajan V Nambiar

New Delhi: The union government has informed the Supreme Court that it has formed a State Dam Safety Organisation towards ensuring the safety of Mullaperiyar dam, located in Kerala but controlled by Tamil Nadu. The organisation has been established under the ambit of the Dam Safety Act, 2021.

The newly formed organisation will have four members, including the chairman, who will be the Regional Director of the National Dam Safety Authority. Additionally, there will be one member each from Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and the organisation member secretary will be the Deputy Director in the Regional Directorate of the National Dam Safety Authority.

The decision was taken by incorporating the Mullaperiyar dam in the ambit of specified dams. As per the definition outlined in the Dam Safety Act, specified dams are categorised as dams with a height exceeding 15 metres, or dams with a height ranging between 10 and 15 metres that meet specific design criteria (minimum reservoir capacity of one million cubic metres and a top dam length of at least 500 metres).

This development may potentially lead to the discontinuation of the supervisory committee previously established by the Supreme Court as a temporary mechanism. The bench headed by Justice MR Shah had directed the union government to file an affidavit with further details regarding the organisation.

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