Mullaiperiyar dam can hold upto 142 ft: Pannerselvam

Theni: Tamilnadu Deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam has said rumours were being spread over the stability of Mullaperiyar dam with an aim to create a wedge between the people of the State and Kerala, asserting that the reservoir was ‘safe’ to store water up to 142 feet.

“Experts have opined that water could be stored upto 142 ft.. There is no need to fear.. The dam is strong.. the dam will not be affected even if there is a tremor or quake,” Panneerselvam told reporters here last night, after visiting the Kumuli road, which got damaged due to a landslide.

“People of Kerala are our brothers and sisters.. Some people are trying to create misunderstanding between us,” he said referring to the rumours doing rounds on social media platforms that the Mullaperiyar dam has developed some cracks.

The Deputy Chief Minister’s statement comes following a plea made by flood-hit Kerala on 15 August, for reducing the water level in the Mullaperiyar reservoir to 139 feet over safety concerns in view of heavy inflows.

The Tamilnadu government had turned down the request saying the century-old reservoir was ‘safe’ enough to store water up to 142 feet.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had also sought the Centre’s intervention as he raised concerns about safety of the dam in view of the swelling inflows following torrential rains lashing the State.

The Supreme Court had on August 16 directed the Disaster Management sub-committee of Mullaperiyar Dam to consider reducing water level up to 139 feet from the present 142 feet, considering the “grave” flood situation in all the 14 districts of Kerala.

The two States are locked in a dispute over the storage level in the dam, situated in high-range Idukki district of Kerala, which has been raising concerns about safety of people living downstream