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Mullaperiyar Dam issue: Kerala Governor suggests "something new to be done"

Tuesday, October 26, 2021 • Malayalam Comments

As the water-level in the over-a-century-old Mullaperiyar dam continued to rise reaching upto 137.60 ft at 9 am on Tuesday, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan opined that a new dam be constructed in Mullaperiyar. "I think already everybody knows that the dam is very old. So something new needs to be done. But how to reach an amicable settlement, that is something on which people are working on the matter. Whenever there is any water dispute, then the judiciary is also involved", the Governor told reporters. Amid the ongoing debates of social media regarding the old dam, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday brushed aside fears of any danger as the water level shot up in it in the wake of heavy rains. "Legal action will be taken against those who are spreading fake information in the social media with the intention of creating a scare about Mullaperiyar dam, " the Chief Minister told the Assembly. "There is no danger to the dam now," added.

The controversy over Mullaperiyar dam between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, about the 125 year old dam on the Periyar river has been going on for several years. Though the Kerala Government prepared a Detailed Project Report in 2011 at a cost of Rs 600 Crore, the work could not be initiated due to the objections raised by Tamil Nadu. The TN government said that only the strengthening of the existing dam is needed and a new dam is not required. According to a recent report published by a United Nations Institute, Mullaperiyar Dam is one of the six dams in the world which are structurally weak and susceptible to failure on account of passage of time and natural calamities. As currently there is heavy rain lashing out in Kerala, the water level in the dam has crossed 136 feet. However, the Water Resources Department informed that there is no emergency situation existing to open the dam until it crosses 140 feet. It is to be noted that the dam failure would be catastrophic, and nearly 3.5 million people in Kerala will be affected.

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