Tamil Nadu has assured Kerala that it is taking all precautionary measures while regulating the flows into the Mullaperiyar dam.
Chief Secretary V. Irai Anbu, in a letter sent last week to his Kerala counterpart V.P. Joy, said the concern over the safety of people living downstream of the dam, as expressed in the latter’s communication of October 23, “has been taken care of, and there is no cause for any apprehension”.
The dam “is being regulated” as per the Supreme Court’s judgment of May 2014 and “considering the directions” given by the court in its interim order of October 28, 2021, wherein the parties were told to abide, for the time being, by the water level notified by the expert committee.
Mr. Irai Anbu reiterated the State’s position that the dam “has been found to be safe hydrologically, seismically and structurally”, a fact that had been stated in the 2014 judgment. The dam was “performing well, and it is also being monitored by the Supervisory Committee” [comprising one representative each of the Central Water Commission and the Governments of Tamil Nadu and Kerala], which had been constituted on the direction of the court.
On Monday morning, the water level stood at 140.35 feet, with the storage being 7.221 thousand million cubic feet. The dam recorded an inflow of 3,378 cubic feet per second (cusecs) and the outflow through the tunnel was 2,300 cusecs. According to the present regulations, the level can touch the 141-foot mark on November 20 and the 142-foot mark on November 30.
Tamil Nadu’s top official informed Mr. Joy that the discharge of excess water, through two spillways during October 29-November 7, was around 2,600 cusecs, “which is very minimum when compared with the historical flood flows”.
The officials of Tamil Nadu, Mr. Irai Anbu added, had been “adequately instructed” to keep the level as per the court’s direction, follow the protocol and give information in advance to the Kerala officials concerned.