Mullaperiyar dispute: Don’t come to us for every grievance, SC to Kerala, Tamil Nadu

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Kerala and Tamil Nadu governments to take their grievances regarding the Mullaperiyar dam first to the Supervisory Committee appointed by it instead of approaching the bench every time.

A bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar said that any decision on releasing water from the reservoir will be taken by the Supervisory Committee through consensus. It noted that states are making “political observations” but that it wasn’t concerned with that.

“We say no more. Both sides must abide by this discipline without exception and no fresh application be moved before this court for such grievances which can be sorted out by consensual approach of all stakeholders,” the bench, also comprising Justice C T Ravikumar, said.

The court was hearing a plea by Kerala that said Tamil Nadu was releasing water from the dam in the night without any warning. Both the states have been at odds over the functioning of the Mullaperiyar dam in Idukki district of Kerala. The dam is located in Kerala, but it is managed by the Tamil Nadu government.

Appearing for Kerala, advocate Jaideep Gupta urged the court to direct Tamil Nadu to give Kerala a 24 hour-prior notice. “Let the Supervisory Committee decide if the release of water is needed or not,” responded Justice Khanwilkar. He added that “all political statements are being made here… Applications cannot come here everyday…”

Advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for TN, asked the court to take up the main matter. The court said the pleas will be heard on January 11.

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