SC asks Centre, TN, Kerala to set up panels on Mullaperiyar



The Supreme Court has directed the Centre and the Tamil Nadu and Kerala governments to set up three separate committees to exclusively deal with any “unpredictable” disaster that may occur at the site of the over 180-year-old Mullaperiyar dam.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, however, clarified that the proposed panels would only deal with the disaster aspect of the dam situated in Kerala.

It made clear that the issues relating to safety and life span of the historic dam would continue to be dealt with by an existing panel, which was set up following the five-judge Constitution bench verdict in 2014.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by Kerala-based Russel Joy, seeking a direction to authorities concerned that a study be conducted by international experts on the issue of safety and life span of the dam.

He has also sought decommissioning of the dam on the ground that it has become too old and the right to life of persons residing in the downstream area has been infringed.

Over three million residents who live near the dam are in constant fear that any disaster may hit them in the near future.

The bench considered the plea and disposed it after directing the three governments to set up separate panels to deal with any impending disaster.