The raging row over raising of water level in the Mullaipperiyar dam remains unresolved with the Kerala state government locking horns with the Tamil Nadu (TN) and the Union government. At stake is the Periyar Tiger Reserve which faces inundation if the dam's water level is raised from 41.4 metres (m) to 46.3 m as demanded by the TN government. In response to a Supreme Court order, the Union government recently informed the apex court that it endorsed the recommendation of an expert committee that raising the dam's water level to 44.5 m "will not endanger the safety of the main dam'.

Although the TN government is ruthlessly pressing for raising of the reservoir level at Mullapperiyar to 46.3 m (see Down To Earth, Vol 10, No 13, November 30, 2001), the Kerala government submitted that the expert committee's report was unreliable, unscientific and inaccurate. It contended that as the reservoir fell within the seismic area, raising the water level beyond 41.4m would make the dam unsafe and affect the Periyar sanctuary.

Meanwhile, a recent study titled

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