International experts must assess Mullaperiyar dam, says Kerala in SC

Shine Mohan

Mullaperiyar dam | Photo: Sajan V Nambiar

New Delhi: Kerala has requested in the Supreme Court that an independent panel comprising international experts should conduct safety inspection of Mullaperiyar Dam.

By citing the Dam Safety Act 2021, Kerala pointed out the need for an independent panel to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the dam. The court will hear the case on Wednesday and sought the reply of Tamil Nadu on the matter.

In an affidavit filed in the Supreme court, Kerala stated the need for an independent body comprising experts in Dam architecture, geology, hydrology, dam security, instrumentation and earthquakes.

Kerala has submitted a reply to the Central Water Commission's status report that it is time for a new safety inspection.

The status report of the Water Commission was issued without the knowledge or consent of the Oversight Committee. Tamil Nadu has to seek permission to repair the approach road to Mullaperiyar and cut down trees under the Wildlife Conservation Act and the Forest Conservation Act. Since the area surrounding the dam is a tiger reserve, a decision be taken only after considering the concerned laws. Kerala also pointed out that permitting such works would not fall under the purview of the oversight committee.

The Center had informed the Parliament yesterday that the Mullaperiyar Dam also comes under the Dam Safety Act and a comprehensive safety assessment could be conducted there as well.

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