The Supreme Court on Thursday asked Kerala and Tamil Nadu governments to abide by the decision taken by the Supervisory Committee regarding the appropriate water level in the Mullaperiyar dam on the Periyar river in Kerala.
A Bench Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari, and CT Ravikumar adjourned the hearing in the case till November 11.
Kerala sought time from the Suoreme Court to file an affidavit in response to the committee's views regarding the 'rule curve', which means the level maintainable in the reservoir on different days.
The supervisory committee has recommended maintaining the Mullaperiyar dam water level at 139.5 feet.
The Bench said, "It has been agreed that parties, for the time being, will abide by the water level suggested by the Supervisory Committee. It will be open to the committee to review its decision on an hourly basis."
Supervisory Committee had informed the Court that there was no requirement to change the water level, which was then at 137 feet.
Kerala wants the court to direct Tamil Nadu, which manages the dam, to not allow water stored to cross 139 feet.
Kerala government has said the increase in water level and its eventual release would risk flood and endanger the lives of lakhs of people in Kerala.
It has also asked that directions be issued to keep the upper water level at 139 feet till the next date of hearing. The government has said that in 2018 the top court had ordered that during flood situations, the water level should not go beyond 139.
Tamil Nadu government stated that it has no difficulty maintaining the level at 139 feet till November 10.
Tamil Nadu government has said the water level in the dam was 137.6 feet and argued that Kerala was exaggerating the situation. The rains had already stopped and there were top court judgments that fixed the maximum water level at 142 feet.
The top court was hearing petitions filed by Kerala based parties seeking urgent directions to restrict the water level in the 126-year-old Mullaperiyar dam, which is being managed by Tamil Nadu for drawing water to its districts.
Idukki resident, Dr Joe Joseph and office-bearers of the Kothamangalam block panchayat in Kerala had expressed their apprehensions about the supervision of water levels in the Mullaperiyar dam located along the Periyar tiger reserve, especially during the rainy season.
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