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Mullaperiyar Dam

mullaperiyar dam

This is a gravity dam. (In a gravity dam, the weight of the dam is able to resist the horizontal thrust of water pushing against it.) The Mullaperiyar is made with limestone and surkhi ( an artificial pozzolana made by powdering burnt bricks, sugar and quicklime). The dam was erected at the meeting point of two major rivers namely Periyar and Mullaiyar, thus obtaining the name Mullaperiyar. It is located on the Western Ghats in Thekkady, Idukki District, Kerala State, India.

The construction was between 1887 and 1895 by the British Government. The dam and the periyar river are owned by and located in Kerala. But the dam is operated by neigboring state Tamil Nadu under a period lease.

mullaperiyar leakage

The safety of the dam has been a matter of concern. The maximum lifetime of the dam was 60 years. The Mullaperiyar dam has reached the double age. At present, the condition of the dam has been found to be very weak as it is already 116 years old.

Recurring earthquakes
The Dam safety and Disaster management issues have assumed very importance in view of the recurring earthquakes and the massive increases in the seepage of water through this aging dam.

mullaperiyar crack

A new dam
Kerala demanding a new dam to save the lives of millions of people and they are not objecting to give water to Tamil Nadu. But Tamil Nadu wants the 2006 Supreme court order to be implemented so as to increase the water level to 142 feet first and then 152 feet. Kerala is insisting on maintaining the reservoir level at 136 feet. In 1886 there was a leaseagreement between Travancore State and British Presidency of Madras which allow to use Mullaperiyar for 999 years to Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu is thinking the Dam will survive for 999 years!.

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