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Mullaperiyar issue: HC asks Kerala govt about safety measures

india Updated: Nov 29, 2011 18:56 IST
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The Kerala high court on Tuesday asked the state government to inform it about the safety measures taken anticipating threat to the 116-year-old Mullaperiyar dam.

A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice P R Ramachandra Menon directed Advocate General K P Dhandapani to inform the court by Wednesday morning the immediate measures being taken by the government.

The bench held that prevention was better than cure.

The direction was issued on a petition by advocate Rajamannar seeking for a direction to Idukki district collector to take immediate steps for draining water from the dam and three other nearby dams on a war footing.

The petitioner also sought the construction of internal chambers and compartments in the four dams for safety.

Meanwhile, former MLA K Krishnankutty also approached the high court seeking a direction to Kerala Dam Safety Authority (KDSA) to immediately start exercising its powers and duties with respect to Mullaperiyar dam, conduct an inspect and issue direction to state government to ensure safety of the dam and to prevent any damage to it.

The petitioner also sought that the KDSA's "failure" to perform its statutory function to be declared illegal.

The petitioner is likely to come before court on Wednesday.

Increase in inflow into the reservoir touching slightly above the maximum permissible storage level of 136 feet has heightened fears about the safety of the dam among people in the area and adjoining districts.

Kerala and Tamil Nadu are locked in a dispute over the dam. While Kerala is arguing for construction of a new dam at Mullaperiyar in place of the existing one, Tamil Nadu is against this, saying it would deprive water for irrigation to five districts of the state.