Theni: After a gap of more than 30 years, the water level in Mullaperiyar dam on Sunday crossed the contentious 136 ft full level mark, a height over which Tamil Nadu and Kerala have for long been at loggerheads, citing safety reasons.
"For the first time in 35 years, the dam level has crossed 136 feet to touch 137.4 feet. Experts from both state governments and Central Water Resources committee who have inspected the dam have said seepage is normal," Mullaiperiyar dam retrieval committee chairman Ranjith Kumar told reporters here.
He said the shutters of the dam were raised to maximum level of 142 feet, as per the Supreme Court order, after finalising strengthening works.
The news was greeted with joy by farmers in five districts of Tamil Nadu which benefit from release of waters from the dam, who thanked the state government for taking steps to increase the water level of the dam.
PWD sources said the inflow was 2,494 cusecs and discharge was 456 cusecs.
On May 7 this year, he Supreme Court had held that the 120-year-old dam is safe and allowed the Tamil Nadu government to raise the water level to 142 feet and ultimately to 152 feet after completing strengthening measures on the dam.
A five-judge Constitution bench had struck down a law promulgated by Kerala, which had been fighting a decade long battle with Tamil Nadu, declaring the dam as endangered and fixing the water level at 136 feet.
It had also pulled up the Kerala government for enacting a law which overruled its verdict of 2006 by which it had declared the dam safe and allowed the Tamil Nadu authorities to raise the water level.