Share rainfall data on real-time basis, TN CM tells Kerala counterpart

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Chennai : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Thursday alleged that his state officials were not being permitted to gauge the rainfall in the catchment area of Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala and urged the neighbouring state to share rainfall data on a real-time basis.

"I would like to point out that Kerala is not permitting our officials to gauge the rainfall in the dam's catchment area, compelling them to assess the inflow only on the basis of actual rise in dam water level," Palaniswami said in a letter to his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan, the text of which was made available to the media here.

Palaniswami said that the Tamil Nadu Water Resources Department is managing and regulating water releases from the Mullaperiyar dam as per the inflow rate.

"I request you to ask your officials to share the rainfall data in the dam catchment area with Tamil Nadu officials on a real-time basis."

The Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala is owned and operated by Tamil Nadu.

Palaniswami also demanded restoration of power supply to the dam and its other structures, pointing out that as agreed by the two states, Tamil Nadu had paid Rs 1.65 crore to the Kerala State Electricity Board.

"Tamil Nadu has been in constant touch with Kerala and its electricity board for power resumption but to no avail," he rued.

He assured Vijayan that the dam is safe -- hydrologically, seismically and structurally.

"... the Supreme Court-appointed Supervisory Committee inspects the dam periodically. During the last inspection on August 4, the committee found that the dam is safe to store water up to 142 feet. Therefore, there is no threat to its safety. Water is being stored at the permitted level of 142 feet, as per Supreme Court orders," Palaniswami said.

He also said that Tamil Nadu was releasing water from Mullaperiyar dam to Vaigai basin to the maximum extent possible through a tunnel.

"The Water Resources Department is maintaining the desired level by releasing excess water through spillways so as not to exceed permitted level of 142 feet, issuing due periodical warnings to all concerned in Kerala," the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister added.