Its Matter of public lives the top court tells Kerala Tamil Nadu Over Mullaperiyar Dam's Water-Level

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The Supreme Court on October 25 ordered the Supervisory Committee to take an immediate and firm decision on the maximum water level that can be maintained at Mullaperiyar dam amidst torrential rains in Kerala. Kerala informed the court that the water level should not go above 139 feet, the same as what the court had ordered on August 24, 2018, when the State was hit by the flood. Tamil Nadu, on the other side, mentioned to the court that the level in the dam was 137.2 ft at 9 a.m. on October 25. Tamil Nadu Additional Advocate General V. Krishnamurthy said officials of his State were already interacting with those in Kerala on the ground situation. The Kerala Chief Minister has written to his Tamil Nadu counterpart. A two-judge bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar also asked the central government to "understand the anxiousness" of Kerala, and return with a response with urgency. The bench added that "If the parties do their job, we don't have to enter this issue. Tell us what should be the maximum level that is to be maintained and till when it should be maintained".  The apex court expressed very clearly that this was not an issue to play politics about. The court directed the Supervisory Committee to get to work as there was “an immediate need to specify the maximum water level in the dam” because of the rains. The order came in a petition filed by Idukki resident Joe Joseph and office-bearers of the Kothamangalam block panchayat in Kerala, who had expressed their apprehensions about the supervision of water levels in the Mullaperiyar dam located along the Periyar tiger reserve, especially during the rainy season. On Sunday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had written to Tamil Nadu counterpart MK Stalin to ensure that the maximum quantity of water is drawn from Mullaperiyar dam. He said that "With the current inflow, it is feared that the reservoir level may reach 142 feet once the torrential rain intensifies. Hence, there would arise an urgent need for the gradual release of water from Mullaperiyar dam through the tunnel to Tamil Nadu". Today, Tamil Nadu told the court that it has been told by Kerala to inform when shutters are opened. "We will speak to other stakeholders and get back on the issue," it said. The matter will be heard again on Wednesday.