SC no to foreign safety assessment of Mullaperiyar Dam

New Delhi, Jan 11
The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a plea for direction to the Centre to engage an international agency to assess the safety of the 120-year-old Mullaperiyar Dam in Kerala that is maintained by Tamil Nadu.

The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud rejected the plea as Attorney General K.K. Venugopal submitted a note from the Central Water Commission (CWC) stating that the 120-year-old dam was safe.

The CWC in its note said a special committee, set up by the Central government, was already looking into the safety and maintenance aspect of the dam.

The court rejected the plea even as counsel Manoj V. George, appearing for petitioner Russell Joy, insisted that an international agency should be entrusted the task of assessing the structure of the Mullaperiyar Dam and it should be decommissioned within a time frame.

Counsel for the petitioner told the court that people living down-stream of Mullaperiyar Dam were living in constant fear of a huge catastrophe if something happens to the dam.

Addressing the apprehensions expressed by the petitioner and to allay the fears of the people, the court directed the Central government, Tamil Nadu and Kerala to set up committees to draw disaster management plan in the event of any disaster.

It asked the three committees to work in harmony and co-ordination to ensure that the safety and security of the inhabitants living near the dam is fully protected.

The court also made it clear that the functioning of the three committees would not give any cause of action for challenging the committees decisions.

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