Prospects of Kerala receiving manual brighten

SC panel directs TN to submit revised Mullaperiyar manual to Central Water Commission

The prospects of Kerala receiving the shutter operation manual of the Mullaperiyar dam have brightened with the high-power committee appointed by the Supreme Court directing Tamil Nadu to submit the revised manual to the Central Water Commission with in a month as sought by the commission.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the committee under chairman Gulshan Raj and members V.Ashok, representing Kerala, and K.S.Prabhakar, representing Tamil Nadu, at its office at Kumily on Tuesday.

The visit was prior to the southwest monsoon expected in the State from Thursday. The panel members reached the dam around noon and visited the baby dam gallery and the spillway.

Applying pressure

A long-standing demand, Kerala had been putting pressure on Tamil Nadu for a copy of the manual so that it could be aware of the water level and the chances of opening of the shutters in case the water level reached the maximum level of 142 ft as allowed by the Supreme Court.

Last month, Tamil Nadu submitted the operation manual to the Central Water Commission on a directive of the committee and today’s order is to submit the revised one within a month.

During the floods in Kerala last year, the opening of the dam had caused panic among the people living downstream. Large-scale damage to houses and property was witnessed and evacuation was done after nightfall on August 15. There were allegations that the dam was opened without giving adequate time and information.

It could have been opened much earlier to prevent the sudden release of a high volume of water after it crossed 142 ft.

The water level in the dam on Tuesday was 112 ft and the seepage level had fallen in accordance with the fall in the water level.

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