Water level in Periyar dam brought down to 140.2 feet

Water level in Mullaperiyar dam was brought down to 140.2 feet from its maximum permissible level of 142 feet by Tamil Nadu Public Works Department officials on Sunday. No official statement was issued to clarify if the water was released from the dam on the advice of the disaster management sub-committee of the National Crisis Management Committee as directed by the Supreme Court. A cross-section of farmers in Cumbum valley and Madurai, however, said they hoped that this act of lowering the water level was only a temporary measure taken in view of the flood situation in Kerala. Meanwhile, scores of farmers staged a protest in Theni on Saturday against lowering the water level. Organiser of Periyar Irrigation Farmers’ Association. S. Anwar (42) said the past experience of Tamil Nadu in lowering the water level based on an agreement with the Kerala government was very bitter. “We had to fight it out in the court for 32 years and could not restore it to 152 feet. We hope the Tamil Nadu government is aware of this. We also believe that the Kerala government would reciprocate the gesture of Tamil Nadu and its people in this issue,” he said. Permission to store water up to 142 feet in Periyar dam is the fruit of the 32-year-long legal battle and an outcome of two judgements of the Supreme Court.

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