Saturday, Dec 13, 2003
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By J. Venkatesan
A three-Judge Bench, comprising the Chief Justice V.N. Khare, Justice S.B. Sinha and Justice A.R. Lakshmanan, directed that the matter be listed for final disposal expeditiously.
An expert committee was set up by the Central Government during the pendency of the petitions, pursuant to the court's direction to study the safety aspects of raising the water level in the dam beyond 136 ft. The committee recommended that the level could be initially raised to 142 ft. The Centre accepted the report in an affidavit. It also said that the strengthening measures suggested by the Central Water Commission and recommended by the expert committee were necessary for the dam's safety.
The Tamil Nadu Government urged the court to issue directions to the Centre and the Kerala Government for implementing the findings of the expert committee and to permit the State to raise the level to 142 ft as an interim measure. However, Kerala urged the court to reject the expert committee's ``unilateral'' report, as its concerns were not taken into account by it. It wanted a study by a fresh team on the impact of the seismic tremors experienced in the State in 2001, especially in the vicinity of the dam.
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