Conclusions of empowered committee of SC in Mullaperiyar case

The final hearing of the Mullaperiyar case is likely to begin in February next year before the Supreme Court. (The date is tentatively fixed as February 19, 2013). The report of the Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court on Mullaperiyar Dam has gone totally against Kerala. So, Kerala will have to disprove the Committee’s findings or advance fresh and acceptable arguments if it is to win the case. The Court has said that that it would not accept fresh evidence including the Dam Break Analysis.

Baby dam

Baby dam saddling the main Mullaperiyar dam. Repairs were carried out to this dam despite objection from Kerala but with tacit support by officials. Another round of repairs are underway now, reportedly with the permission of the courts.      Photo: Roy Mathew

It is notable that the Committee has suggested repairs to the dam even while holding that the dam was hydrologically, structurally and seismically safe. The repairs have already begun.

The repairs proposed include treatment of upstream surface of dam, reaming of drainage holes, instrumentation and grouting of dam body. It has also suggested “periodical monitoring, analysis and leading away the seepage from toe of the dam towards downstream “.

The Committee found that the dam has not been adversely affected by leeching of lime dissolved in seepage water and rejected Kerala’s contentions in this regard. (That leaching has occurred is something that even Tamil Nadu had admitted. The dam had already been grouted for this reason and further grouting is proposed by the Committee itself. )
It said that the precautionary principle is not applicable as the dam has been found safe, and added that the Dam Break Flood Analysis and Emergency Action Plan do serve as precautionary measures. The findings of studies by Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkie and Delhi were rejected.

The Committee said that it did not accept the scare of a dam break flood wave because the Kerala government had not prepared dam break flood analysis. (The dam break analysis has since been done and it leaves little doubt that a dam break would be catastrophic.)

Conclusions of the Report in full at Expert-Eyes.org
Appraisal and analysis of various studies by EC Committee(Chapter VI of report)
Report of the Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court– all chapters
Mullaperiyar Dam break analysis by IIT Roorkee
Structural stability analysis of Mullaperiyar dam

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