The Kerala government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it was concerned about the safety of the Mullaperiyar dam in the state, ANI reported. The dam is situated in the Idukki district on the Periyar River in Kerala. However, it is managed by the Tamil Nadu government.
The two states have been involved in a dispute as Kerala has called for a new reservoir to be constructed, citing structural problems with the Mullaperiyar dam. In February, Kerala had announced that will construct a new reservoir to replace the 126-year-old Mullaperiyar dam.
However, the move was objected to by the Tamil Nadu government, which said that construction of a new reservoir would amount to contempt of a 2014 Supreme Court order which had said that the Mullaperiyar dam was stable.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta, appearing for the Kerala government, told the court that if the dam breaks, it could lead to “catastrophic” results. He told a bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, AS Oka and CT Ravikumar that the dam was not safe in the existing condition.
“Safety depends upon the height of the water in the reservoir,” Gupta told the court, adding that the peak level of water in the dam should be 140 feet instead of 142 feet as fixed by the Supreme Court in its 2014 verdict, according to PTI.
The court said that it will not decide on political issues in the case and will hear all parties concerned.
“This is not an adversarial litigation and what are the issues that really need to be addressed have to be seen and gone into,” the bench said, according to PTI.
The court will now hear the issue on March 24.