MADURAI: The Centre, in its recent communication, has told the Kerala government to allow the Tamil Nadu government to strengthen Baby dam, citing that the safety of Mullaiperiyar Dam cannot be compromised.
The Joint Secretary to the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, under the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti Sanjay Awasthi, in his letter (dated November 8) has written to the Additional Chief Secretary to the Local Self Government Department of Kerala about the ongoing Mullaiperiyar Dam row.
In response to the letter (dated October 23) written by the Kerala government expressing concerns on rising water levels in Mullaiperiyar Dam, the Union Ministry said, necessary interim orders have been issued to the concerned authorities and to the Supervisory Committee to take appropriate decisions on the water levels to be maintained in the dam reservoir.
The Supervisory Committee closely monitors the reservoir water levels at the Mullaperiyar Dam on hourly basis, wrote Awasthi.
Further, in compliance of the order, dated October 25, passed by the Supreme Court, a meeting of the Supervisory Committee was held the next day, on October 26 through video-conferencing, to address the emergent issues of rising water levels in the dam, the communication read.
"To ensure that the safety of Mullaperiyar Dam is not compromised, the Kerala government should allow works necessary to strengthen Baby dam and earthen dam as well as repair works to the approach Ghat Road, as proposed by the Tamil Nadu government."
The communication gains significance as the Kerala government cancelled the order the order issued by the Chief Wildlife Warden (CWW) Bennichan Thomas approving Tamil Nadu’s request to fell 15 trees downstream of Mullaiperiyar baby dam, three days ago. The same day, Thomas was suspended for not keeping the (Kerala) government in the loop about the said order.