Supreme Court changes Mullaperiyar Panel, to include Expert from Tamil Nadu and Kerala

Supreme court law insider in

Shivani Thakur

Published on: April 9, 2022 at 19:51 IST

The Supreme Court reconstituted the Committee supervising the Mullaperiyar dam, whose safety has been a Bone of Contention between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, by including one expert from each State, a step both had sought.

A Bench of Justices A. M. Khanwilkar, Abhay. S. Oka and C T Ravikumar said the Committee will only be an Interim One; it will remain until the National Dam Safety Authority, as envisaged by the Dam Safety Act, 2021, becomes fully functional.

“For the purpose of strengthening the existing Supervisory Committee, we also accede to the suggestions given by the Party-States that two technical experts be made part of the existing Supervisory Committee, one each from the State of Kerala and State of Tamil Nadu, who must be well-versed in Dam Management, Reservoir Operation, Instrumentation, etc,” the Court said

The “Reconstituted Supervisory Committee will decide all outstanding matters related to Mullaperiyar Dam’s safety and conduct a safety review afresh,” the Court said.

It added, “For this purpose, it may frame Terms of Reference in accordance with the Provisions of the 2021 Act.”

The Supreme Court had constituted the Supervisory Committee in 2014. It comprised three members, a representative from the Central Water Commission and a representative each from the two States.

The Court said that “After coming into force of the 2021 Act, a Statutory Dispensation needs to be put in place.”

“We express a sanguine hope that the Competent Authority may take appropriate steps to ensure that the regular National Dam Safety Authority under the 2021 Act is established at the earliest, as it cannot brook delay,”

The Court had earlier permitted the water level in the 126-year-old reservoir to be kept at 142 feet.

Kerala, however, has been raising concerns about the safety of the structure and the height of the water column. It has urged the Court to decommission the dam and allow it to construct a new one.

Also Read: Delhi HC directs to Provide Court Documents in Braille Script

Related Post