New Delhi: Tamil Nadu has rejected Kerala's argument that the sudden release of water from the Mullaperiyar Dam by the Tamil Nadu government was one of the reasons for the devastating deluge in Kerala.
In a counter affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, Tamil Nadu said that the water released from Mullaperiyar dam was very less when compared to the volume of water in Idukki and Idamalayar dams. It was the release of water from these dams in Kerala that resulted in the floods, Tamil Nadu said in the affidavit.
Kerala witnessed unprecedented rains. A large volume of water accumulated in Kerala dams. The water released from Idukki and Idamalayar dams resulted in the floods in Kerala. Compared to this, the water that reached Idukki dam from Mullaperiyar was very less, the Tamil Nadu government said in the affidavit. Tamil Nadu also alleged that Kerala caused hindrances in the work being done by Tamil Nadu to strengthen the dam to keep the water level at 152 ft.
The court postponed the hearing of the case to September 6.
In the affidavit submitted in the Supreme Court the other day, the Pinarayi Vijayan government said that in the wake of prior alerts by its engineers, Kerala's Water Resources Secretary had written to her counterpart in Tamil Nadu government and the Chairman of the Supervisory Committee on Mullaperiyar dam, requesting controlled release of water without waiting for the water level in the reservoir to reach its full level.
"Accordingly, the Tamil Nadu Government was requested to gradually release water at least by 139 feet...But no positive assurance in this regard was received from Tamil Nadu even after repeated requests...
"But the sudden release from the Mullaperiyar dam, third largest reservoir in the Periyar Basin, forced us to release more water from Idukki reservoir, downstream of Mullaperiyar, which is one of the causes of this deluge," the affidavit said. The Mullaperiyar Dam is located on the Western Ghats near Thekkady in Idukki district of Kerala on the Periyar river.
The state government said that to avoid a repeat of such situations, the Supervisory Committee be headed by the Chairman of the Central Water Commission with Secretaries of both the states as members. This panel should be empowered to take decisions by a majority opinion regarding operations during flood or any similar crisis, it said.
The Kerala government also sought the constitution of a Management committee to manage the day-to-day operations of the Mullaperiyar Dam. "We propose that this committee be headed by a Chief Engineer/Superintending Engineer of the CWC with both Chief Engineers/Superintending Engineers of the two states," the state government said.