Experts panel visit Mullaperiyar Dam areas

Idukki (Kerala): Technical experts of the Supreme Court-appointed empowered committee on Mullaperiyar Dam issue today began their visit of dams in Idukki district and adjoining areas to provide inputs for the panel to draw up its report on the dispute between Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The expert members, C D Thatte and K K Mehta, first visited the Pambala Dam at Lower Periyar area. They would inspect Idukki, Kulamavu and Cheruthoni dams later in the day.
They are expected to arrive at Mullaperiyar this evening and inspect the 116-year-old Mullaperiyar Dam tomorrow.

The Empowered Committee under the chairmanship of former Chief Justice of India A S Anand was set up in 2010 with the mandate of examining all aspects of the dispute over the dam between the two states.

Kerala wants a new dam to be built arguing that the existing structure was extremely weak and if it collapsed lives of over three million people would be in danger.

However, Tami Nadu has rejected this contention holding that the dam could be retained by doing necessary repairs to it.

The apex court constituted the panel, which has one member each representing Kerala and Tamil Nadu, while considering Tamil Nadu`s plea against the Dam Safety Authority bill passed by the Kerala Assembly, which empowered the state agency to decommission any dam in the state.