Follow Us:

‘Involves life of people..’: SC asks TN, Kerala to discuss Mullaperiyar water level

Senior advocate Jaideep Gupta and advocate G. Prakash, appearing for Kerala government, submitted the water level should not be allowed to exceed 139 feet, as it will be dangerous to people living downstream

IANS | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Kerala government to refrain from debating the issue regarding suitable height of the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam before it, and rather engage with Tamil Nadu government and the committee.

A bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and C.T. Ravikumar observed that the issue involves the life and property of the people.

Emphasising that the decision must be taken by the expert supervisory committee appointed by the top court, it asked the committee to take a call expeditiously. “We cannot decide the water level, only an expert committee can take a call,” said the bench.

It directed all parties to consult each other and take a call, in coordination with state governments, in connection with the water level.

“It is a serious situation on ground. This is not a political arena,” the top court said, asking the parties to come back after taking a decision as it scheduled the matter for further hearing on Wednesday.

Senior advocate Jaideep Gupta and advocate G. Prakash, appearing for Kerala government, submitted the water level should not be allowed to exceed 139 feet, as it will be dangerous to people living downstream. Counsel urged the top court to direct the Tamil Nadu government to keep water level at 137 feet till Tuesday.

Additional Advocate General V. Krishnamurthy, representing the Tamil Nadu government, pointed out that the 2014 judgment of the apex court allows water up to 142 feet.

However, the bench insisted that the issue is serious and all parties should consult each other and take a call in the matter.

The top court was hearing a plea by the Kerala government to ensure that water level is not allowed to exceed 139 feet. However, in 2018, the Supreme Court passed an order to maintain water level at 139 feet during the Kerala floods as a temporary arrangement.

Citing the recent torrential rains which led to increase in water level in the dam’s reservoir, the Kerala government asked for a similar relief.