Former Kerala Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan said on Wednesday that there was an immediate need for the state assembly to meet to discuss and deliberate on the Supreme Court's latest verdict on the Mullaperiyar Dam case.
"There should be an immediate meeting of the Kerala Legislature to decide on the future course of action," said veteran CPI-M leader Achuthanandan. The Kerala Government has failed to convey the seriousness of the issue to the Central Government and the Supreme Court," he added. Achuthanandan was reacting to an apex court verdict announced today that allows the raising of the water level in Mullaperiyar dam to 142 feet
He warned that this verdict will have huge ramifications for both Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The Supreme Court also appointed a supervising committee to look into the dam's workings and restoration. The Mullaperiyar Dam has been a politically live wire issue for both Tamil Nadu and Kerala, with the former demanding an increase in the water level in the 116-year-old dam to support its agricultural needs, and the latter opposed to the same over concerns about the old dam's safety.
The dam site is in Kerala, but the reservoir mainly serves Tamil Nadu. The Supreme Court quashed the amendments to the Kerala Conservation and Irrigation Act brought in by the Kerala Government in 2006 to restrict the water level to 136 feet after an apex court bench order in February allowing Tamil Nadu to raise it to 142 feet. A bench headed by Chief Justice R.M. Lodha delivered the verdict eight months after hearing in the case was completed. Delivering the verdict, the court said that there was no safety threat to the dam.
The Empowered Committee appointed by the apex court in the issue, had also supported Tamil Nadu's demand, but the Kerala had remained opposed to the plan and had instead demanded that a new dam be built at Mullaperiyar.