//Mullaperiyar: Kerala to seek legal opinion

Mullaperiyar: Kerala to seek legal opinion

Mullaperiyar: Kerala to seek legal opinion

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala would seek legal opinion on safeguarding its position of retaining the water level of the Mullaperiyar dam at 136 ft after studying the Supreme Court verdict allowing Tamil Nadu to raise the water level to 142 ft, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said on Monday.

"There is no change in the state’s position, which was formulated after getting expert and technical advice regarding the safety of more than the 100 years old dam. We cannot take a stand that would jeopardise the safety of the people," Chandy told reporters when his reaction was sought on Monday’s apex court ruling.Chandy, however, declined to term the verdict a setback to the state and said further steps needed in the matter would be considered after studying the judgment in detail.

He said Kerala was not against giving water to Tamil Nadu. The state’s stand was worked out taking into consideration the risk factor involved. Kerala was always open for further discussions with Tamil Nadu, he said. Kerala has persistently opposed raising the dam’s water level located in Idukki district on the ground that it would endanger five downstream districts on Kerala side. Kerala also argued that raising the water level also involved environmental risks for the Periyar Tiger Reserve.