Tamil Nadu opens shutters of Mullaperiyar dam angering Kerala; several areas inundated

Published on Dec 06, 2021 11:06 PM IST
  • Kerala said that the move was unexpected as it repeatedly appealed to the Tamil Nadu government to not open the shutters at night.
The dam is the cause of a decades-old dispute between the two states. Tamil Nadu owns and runs the Mullaperiyar dam and is against the rebuilding of the dam fearing it will lose control over it. For Kerala, the dam poses risks to many living in the downstream areas(PTI)
The dam is the cause of a decades-old dispute between the two states. Tamil Nadu owns and runs the Mullaperiyar dam and is against the rebuilding of the dam fearing it will lose control over it. For Kerala, the dam poses risks to many living in the downstream areas(PTI)
Reported by Ramesh Babu | Written by Shankhyaneel Sarkar | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Tamil Nadu on Monday opened nine shutters of the Mullaperiyar Dam, inundating several areas downstream in Kerala.

Kerala said that the move was unexpected as it repeatedly appealed to the Tamil Nadu government to not open the shutters at night. Kerala water resources minister Roshy Augustine, who rushed to Idukki, termed the action taken by the Tamil Nadu government as ‘irresponsible’.

He also said since the released water will move to Idukki, the Idukki dam will also be opened on Tuesday morning. ‘The move was least expected,” Augustine said. The Kerala government has issued a high alert in the region. This is the first time nine shutters of Mullaperiyar were opened at once. The catchment areas near the dam continue to get heavy downpour.

The dam is the cause of a decades-old dispute between the two states. Tamil Nadu owns and runs the Mullaperiyar dam and is against the rebuilding of the dam fearing it will lose control over it. For Kerala, the dam poses risks to many living in the downstream areas while it remains intrinsic to its neighbour for water supply to adjoining districts and power generation. The dam is built on the upper reaches of the Periyar river, which flows into Kerala. The recent heavy rains in the region has reignited the debate regarding the location of the dam.

The Supreme Court earlier in a ruling asked both states to abide by the committee’s recommendation which said water level in the dam would be limited to 138 feet till October 31 and 139.5 feet till November 10.

The Tamil Nadu government earlier on December 2 also released water from the Mullaperiyar Dam inviting criticism from the Kerala government. It was on the same day the Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin not to open shutters of Mullaperiyar dam without prior information and that too at night.

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