Mullaperiyar dam structurally & hydrologically safe: Panel

Setting at rest the controversy over the safety of the 116-year-old Mullaperiyar dam, the Empowered Committee, headed by the former Chief Justice of India A.S. Anand, held that the dam is "structurally and hydrologically safe, and Tamil Nadu can raise the water level from 136 to 142 feet after carrying out certain repairs."

The Empowered Committee also held that "The dam is seismically safe." Last year’s earth tremors in that region "did not have any impact on the Mullaperiyar dam and the Idukki reservoir and there was no danger to the safety of the two dams."

The committee’s conclusion is expected to bring relief to both Kerala and Tamil Nadu after apprehensions were raised on the Mullaperiyar dam’s safety following mild tremors in that region. The committee gave its findings on the basis of the reports, studies and investigations conducted by various agencies constituted to go into the safety aspects.

On Kerala’s demand for construction of a new dam, the committee said that in view of the age of the existing reservoir, building a new one could be considered as an alternative proposal. If a new dam was constructed, the maximum water level (MWL) should be fixed at 155 ft and a fresh agreement inked b/w the two States on water sharing and maintenance.

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