New Delhi : As a blame-game erupted between Tamil Nadu and Kerala over the devastating floods, the Supreme Court on Friday directed the panel on the Mullaperiyar Dam to ensure that the water level at the reservoir is maintained at 139.99 feet till August 31.
The Mullaperiyar Dam, built in 1895 on Periyar River in Idukki District of Kerala, came under the spotlight with the Kerala government accusing Tamil Nadu, which maintains the reservoir, of sudden release of water leading to unprecedented deluge in the state, reports PTI.
Kerala’s claim was on Friday rebuffed by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami, who said the neighbouring state had suffered the deluge due to the discharge of excess water from 80 reservoirs spurred by heavy rains there.
The Tamil Nadu government also filed an affidavit in the apex court on Friday charging Kerala with an “obstructionist attitude and non-cooperation” and alleging that it was helping illegal encroachments.
However, the top court steered clear of the dispute between Tamil Nadu and Kerala over the maximum permissible limit of water level of 142 ft in the dam as fixed by it in its 2014 verdict and said that currently, it was concerned with disaster management and maintaining the water level at 139 ft to ensure that the flood situation does not worsen.
“Needless to say, the present writ petition has nothing to do with any kind of dispute between the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, but it relates to saving of human lives in the obtaining situation of disaster,” a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said.
Special lottery to raise funds
To raise additional funds towards the CM’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) following the floods in Kerala, Finance Minister Thomas Issac on Friday announced a special lottery.
Issac told the media that each ticket would cost Rs 250 and the draw would take place on October 3. The entire proceeds of the lottery will go to the CMDRF.
“The lottery has been named ‘Ashwas’ and there would be a first prize of Rs 1 lakh in each series and Rs 5,000 on 108,000 tickets,” said Issac.
According to a source in the know of things, in all there would 96 lakh tickets that would be printed in nine series.
“The target of this special lottery is to raise Rs 100 crore, which will be the net profit for the state government after meeting all expenses of this special lottery, if all the 96 lakh tickets are sold,” said the source who did not wish to be identified, reports IANS.
Kerala toll is 417, people asked to detail losses
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday put the number of dead in rains and floods at 417 as hundreds began returning home from relief camps, still leaving 8.69 lakh people in 2,787 shelters.
Vijayan told the media that the deaths began since the monsoon rains started on May 29 but 265 of the casualties were reported from August 8 when torrential downpour triggered the worst flooding in the state in nearly a century. Another 36 people were missing, he said, and urged those battered by the floods to submit on the Kerala government website details of the losses suffered by them.
Some 7,000 houses were destroyed in the fury and around 50,000 had been partially damaged.