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Current Affairs

Title : Mullaperiyar Dam Issue (GS III)

Date : Nov 23, 2021

Description :

Topic à Water Conservation related issues


  • Why in the News:
  • Supreme Court has decided to hear the case of the Mullaperiyar Dam Dispute Case once again on 10 December, 2021.
  • In the midst of severe rains in Kerala, the Supreme Court had recently ordered the Supervisory Committee to make an urgent and clear judgment on the maximal water capacity that can be sustained at Mullaperiyar dam.
  • To resolve the issue of the Mullaperiyar dam involving Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the Ministry of Jal Shakti has formed a three-member Supervisory Committee.


  • At the Heart of a Decade-Old Debate:
  • The project poses a threat to lakhs of people living downstream in Kerala, while the water it provides is a lifeline for residents in five districts in Tamil Nadu, which manages the dam.


  • Reasons for the Dispute's Recent Revival:
  • Heavy rains have recently increased the flow of water in the Mullaperiyar dam. Surplus water from Mullaperiyar may spill into the Idukki reservoir downstream, causing flooding.
  • As an emergency precaution against floods or other disasters, the SC agreed in 2018 to keep the water threshold in the Mullaperiyar reservoir two or three feet below the legal limit of 142 feet.
  • Mullaperiyar Dam is a dam in Kerala's Idukki district, built at the intersection of the Mullayar and Periyar rivers.
  • The reservoir is located inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
  • Tamil Nadu operates and maintains it to meet the potable water and irrigation needs of five of the state's southern districts.
  • The functional rights were given to Tamil Nadu through a 999-year lease arrangement signed during British control.
  • The water diverted from the reservoir is used to generate electricity in Tamil Nadu's lower Periyar region before flowing into the Suruliyar, a tributary of the Vaigai river, and then irrigating roughly 2.08 lakh hectares in Theni and four additional districts far afield.


  • About the Periyar River:
  • The Periyar River is located in Kerala, India.
  • With a length of 244 kilometres, the Periyar River is Kerala's longest river.
  • It is also known as Kerala's 'Lifeline,' as it is one of the state's few perennial rivers.
  • The Periyar River flows through the Periyar National Park and originates in the Sivagiri highlands of Tamil Nadu's Western Ghats.
  • Muthirapuzha, Mullayar, Cheruthoni, and Perinjankutti are the Periyar's primary tributaries.


  • About the Idukki Dam:
  • It is a dam in Kerala.
  • The dam is situated between the Kuravanmala (839 m) and Kurathimala (839 m) mountains (925 m).
  • It is Asia's third tallest arch dam and one of Asia's highest arch dams.
  • It is situated on the Periyar River in Kerala, in a ravine between the Kuravan and Kurathi Hills.
  • The Kerala State Electricity Board built it and now owns it. It is home to a hydroelectric power plant with a capacity of 780 MW.


Tags : Kerala, inter state rivers, tamil nadu

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