Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Tuesday said “something new needs to be done” in Mullaperiyar as the existing dam there is very old and people are working to reach an amicable settlement on the matter. The Governor said, “I think already everybody knows that the dam is very old. So something new needs to be done.”
“But how to reach an amicable settlement, that is something on which people are working on the matter. Whenever there is any water dispute, then the judiciary is also involved”, Governor told reporters here as the water-level in the over-a-century-old dam continued to rise reaching upto 137.60 ft at 9 am today.
The Governor’s statement came a day after the Supreme Court directed the supervisory committee to take a “firm decision” on the maximum water level to be maintained in Mullaperiyar dam.
The apex court has directed all the authorities concerned to interact immediately on an urgent basis on the issue saying it has something to do with lives. The Court told Kerala’s counsel that their officers should responsibly interact with the concerned officers of Tamil Nadu and the committee on the issue.
Responding to queries in the Assembly on Monday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had slammed social media scare mongers claiming ‘danger’ to Mullaperiyar dam and warned of legal action against such elements.
The CM has also told the state Assembly that the government is committed to its demand for a new dam at Mullaperiyar despite opposition, including from the Centre. Mullaperiyar dam, built in 1895 on Periyar river in Idukki district of Kerala, is operated by the Tamil Nadu government for its irrigation and power generation needs.
Kerala is insisting on building a new dam, citing safety concerns, but Tamil Nadu is against it, saying the present structure was strong.