The chances of the Mullaperiyar dam breaking, which will lead to washing out of Ernakulam, Kottayam and Allepey districts, is a real danger. Read our petition in Hon’ble Supreme Court of India for urgent remedial action

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SYNOPSIS AND LIST OF DATES
  1. The Petitioners are instituting the instant writ petition for he considers that there is a real and imminent threat to the safety of the Mullaperiyar dam and that if the dam were to collapse due to the unprecedented rains or seismic activity, which by no stretch of imagination can be termed as unreasonable or ill-founded apprehension, he along with his  family, so too millions of citizens of the state of Kerala will perish.
  2. The Mullaperiyar Dam is an over-a-century old gravity dam of 53.6 m in height and a reservoir capacity of 443 million m3. It impounds the Periyar River in Kerala State, downstream to Tamil Nadu. It was constructed in 1895 by the British government to provide irrigation and eventually began to generate power. At the time of construction, the dam had an intended lifespan of 50 years. Still, in service over a century later, the dam is said to show significant structural flaws and may be at risk of failure.
  3. The dam is located in a seismically active area. A minor earthquake is said to have caused cracks in the dam in 1979, and that in 2011, more cracks appeared in the dam due to seismic activity. Leaks and leaching are also concerning, as the methods and materials used during construction are considered outdated compared to current standards. In response to these structural issues, dam decommissioning has been considered. A dam

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failure risk would be catastrophic. Over 3.5 million people in the lower reaches of Periyar, Azhutha, Meenachilar, Pamba and Manimalayar rivers spreading over 5 districts will be affected. It cannot be overemphasized that the issue has ecological and economic ramifications. Along with human life, the entire flora and fauna in the area would perish. 

  • The heavy rainfall and flooding faced by the State of Kerala in recent years have brought the concerns regarding the safety of the dam to the forefront like never before.
  • The safety issues relating to Mullaperiyar are heavily interlinked with the safety of the dams of the Idukki project downstream. Given the size of the Idukki, the extent of the devastation that could result from failure of Idukki dam is unimaginable. Idukki’s reservoir capacity is about 74400 million cubic feet of water with a weight of more than 2100 million tonnes. The expert committee set up by the State Government to study the Mullaperiyar issues has stated that failure of Idukki dams would lead to inundation of more than three districts of Kerala.
  • Several experts including retired Chief Engineer, M. Sasidharan, (member of the Inter State Water Advisory Committee), say that if the Mullaperiyar dam were to collapse, then the Idukki dam project (consisting of the Idukki dam, and two structurally weaker Cheruthoni and Kulamavu dams) is

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almost certain to give away. M. Sasidharan warned that Cheruthoni and Kulamavu dam would be at risk even if the water level in the Idukki reservoir is kept low, and that even if the Idukki dam might survive, the other two dams could fail.

  • In addition to the various reports conducted by IIT Delhi and IIT Roorkee, among others deeming the structure to be unsafe, the dam now being featured in the list of ageing dams in its report “Ageing Water Storage Infrastructure: An Emerging Global Risk by the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH, 2021- Report Series 11)”.
  • Hence, in the backdrop of aforesaid peculiar facts and circumstances, the Petitioner seek kind indulgence of this Hon’ble Court urgently in the interest of justice, equity and good conscience. In order to elucidate the factsof the case in details, a chronological list of dates is depicted as under:

LIST OF DATES

Sr. No. Date Particulars
1. 1895 The Mullaperiyar Dam is an over-a-century old gravity dam of 53.6 m in height and a reservoir capacity of 443 million m3. It was constructed in 1895 by the British government to provide irrigation and eventually began to generate power. At the time of construction, the dam had an intended lifespan of 50 years. Still, in service over a century later, the dam is said to show significant structural flaws and may be at risk of failure.
2. 1979 As early as in 1979, a team of engineers headed by the then Chairman, CWC had made a specific recommendation to construct a new dam as a permanent solution. In pursuance of the above recommendation, a joint team of engineers of Kerala and Tamil Nadu made a reconnaitory survey of the area downstream of the existing Mullaperiyar Dam. The team located a technically suitable site for a new dam 1300 ft downstream of the present dam where a new dam could be constructed without affecting the safety of the old one.  
3. 1981 As part of further investigation, 19 boreholes were also taken during the period 1981-82 and found that good rock is available for founding the dam. But this proposal for construction of a new replacement dam was however not pursued at that time.
4. 18/02/2010 On 18/02/2021 an empowered committee constituted by the Supreme Court suggested that the capacity of the existing tunnel can be enhanced or an additional tunnel can be constructed for drawing more water, which will help to keep the reservoir level at a safer level without reducing water viability.
5. 2011 A minor earthquake caused three cracks on the top surface of Mullaperiyar Dam.
6. 2021 The dam now features in the list of ageing dams and this has been published by UNU-INWEH in its report titled “Ageing Water Storage Infrastructure: An Emerging Global Risk by the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH, 2021- Report Series 11)” 
 4. 18/12/2021 Hence this Writ Petition.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO.             OF 2021

[UNDER ARTICLE 32 OF THE CONSTITTUTION OF INDIA]

IN THE MATTER OF:

WRIT PETITION UNDER ARTICLE 32 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA.

TO,

HON’BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA
AND HIS LORDSHIP’S COMPANION JUSTICES

OF THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

THE HUMBLE PETITION OF THE PETITIONERS ABOVENAMED

MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH:

  1. The 1st Petitioner is a citizen of India, a resident of the Idukki and Ernakulam districts of Kerala. He is a civil contractor by profession besides being engaged in agriculture. Though not professionally qualified in engineering, as a construction contractor, he has a fair amount of practical and technical knowledge and experience in construction activities in general. The Petitioner considers that there is a real and imminent threat to the safety of the Mullaperiyar dam and that if the dam were to collapse due to the unprecedented rains or seismic activity, which by no stretch of imagination can be termed as unreasonable or ill-founded apprehension, he along with his  family, so too millions of citizens of the state of Kerala will perish.  
  2. The Petitioner No 2 to 6 are the law-abiding citizens of India. As persons who are genuinely concerned about and involved in the environment and nature, wildlife, the Mullaperiyar and Idukki dams and the real threat it poses to the lives of millions, including themselves and their family, and the environmental loss has been of immense concern.
  3. The Petitioners invoke the jurisdiction of this Court under Article 32 for the protection of their very lives, so too of their families and millions of fellow citizens, for the enforcement of their very right to life, which in itself is regarded as a fundamental right. The Petitioners are advised that they have undeniable locus standi to institute the instant writ petition.
  4. Respondent nos. 1 & 2, the States of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and Respondent No. 3 & 4 the Central Government are necessary parties because the very remedies sought for are against them, and in their absence the instant Petition cannot be maintained. 
  1. That there is no identical matter pending before / disposed of by this Hon’ble Court or any High Courts filed by the Petitioners of this instant Writ Petition.
  1. FACTS OF THE CASE:

The seminal factum probandum of the case necessary for adjudication of the instant Petition are depicted as under:

  1. The Mullaperiyar Dam is an over-a-century old gravity dam of 53.6 m in height and a reservoir capacity of 443 million m3. It impounds the Periyar River in Kerala State, downstream to Tamil Nadu. It was constructed in 1895 by the British government to provide irrigation and eventually began to generate power. At the time of construction, the dam had an intended lifespan of 50 years. Still, in service over a century later, the dam is said to show significant structural flaws and may be at risk of failure. The dam is located in a seismically active area. A minor earthquake is said to have caused cracks in the dam in 1979, and that in 2011, more cracks appeared in the dam due to seismic activity. Leaks and leaching are also concerning, as the methods and materials used during construction are considered outdated compared to current standards. In response to these structural issues, dam decommissioning has been considered. A dam failure risk would be catastrophic. Over 3.5 million people in the lower reaches of Periyar, Azhutha, Meenachilar, Pamba and Manimalayar rivers spreading over 5 districts will be affected. It cannot be overemphasised that the issue has ecological and economic ramifications. Along with human life, the entire flora and fauna in the area would perish. 
  1. The heavy rainfall and flooding faced by the State of Kerala in recent years have brought the concerns regarding the safety of the dam to the forefront like never before. The plea for safety of an entire population of people cannot be ignored. The age of the dam alone, not to mention the other compelling factors, is a cause for concern. The Petitioners submit that in such a situation, when there is sufficient reason for apprehension, the people cannot be forced into living in a state of panic and threat of acute danger and with no measure of the sense of safety or security. The fear and anxiety in the lakhs of people living in the nearby districts cannot be overlooked. The right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the constitution would certainly include at least the bare minimum.
  1. The safety issues relating to Mullaperiyar are heavily interlinked with the safety of the dams of the Idukki project downstream. Given the size of the Idukki, the extent of the devastation that could result from failure of Idukki dam is unimaginable. Idukki’s reservoir capacity is about 74400 million cubic feet of water with a weight of more than 2100 million tonnes. The expert committee set up by the State Government to study the Mullaperiyar issues has stated that failure of Idukki dams would lead to inundation of more than three districts of Kerala.
  1. The catchment area of Mullaperiyar reservoir is 624 sq km. The gross storage capacity is only 12.758 TMC ft at 142 feet. Mullaperiyar, therefore, is exceptionally vulnerable because it has a large catchment area and limited storage capacity. In the event of the Mullaperiyar dam giving away, the Idukki dam which is downstream to the former, poses a very high risk of collapsing under the pressure. The sheer volume and immense force with which the water would flow, wiping away anything in its way and carrying the debris to the dam below it, would lead to the dam’s collapse. The reason, according to several experts, is simple. No dam in constructed in a manner envisaging that it will have to withstand the collapse of a dam upstream to it. Every dam is constructed with an estimated maximum capacity, added pressure beyond the upper limit, would lead to its collapse. 
  • Several experts including retired Chief Engineer, M. Sasidharan, (member of the Inter State Water Advisory Committee), say that if the Mullaperiyar dam were to collapse, then the Idukki dam project (consisting of the Idukki dam, and two structurally weaker Cheruthoni and Kulamavu dams) is almost certain to give away. M. Sasidharan warned that Cheruthoni and Kulamavu dam would be at risk even if the water level in the Idukki reservoir is kept low, and that even if the Idukki dam might survive, the other two dams could fail. It is estimated that waters would be flowing down at 50-60 km/hour through a 10 km gorge downstream of the Mullaperiyar. It is then expected to flow down a 15 km slope down to the Idukki reservoir. The water column, which could be 20-30 feet high, would wipe out everything on its way and bring down a lot of earth into the reservoir. 

A true copy of expert report is enclosed herewith and marked as Annexure P-1 (Pg No. _______)

  • The Petitioners submit, that this, to the common man, is not a far-fetched hypothesis or one that can be easily discredited. Because, irrespective of specific figures, the fact remains that if the Mullaperiyar dam were to collapse, the huge volume of 12 TMCft of water spread out in an area of 4668 acres, would gush down in tremendous, unthinkable force, wiping away everything in its way, carrying the debris to the Idukki dam and, in all likelihood, the Idukki dam too would give away. This possibility cannot be negated or considered to be miniscule. The assurances of either state governments in relation to Mullaperiyar, or the assurances of the Kerala State government that the Idukki dam will be secure in any event, therefore, have not been able to ebb away the fear in the minds of the people of Kerala by any measure.
  • In addition to the various reports conducted by IIT Delhi and IIT Roorkee, among others deeming the structure to be unsafe, the dam now being featured in the list of ageing dams in its report “Ageing Water Storage Infrastructure: An Emerging Global Risk by the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH, 2021- Report Series 11)” by the UNU-INWEH -a part of the United Nations University, an academic arm of the UN- has significantly increased the long instilled fear in the general population. The Report provides an overview of the current state of knowledge on the ageing of large dams, which it describes as an emerging global development issue as thousands of existing large dams have reached or exceeded an “alert” age threshold of 50 years. According to the said report, these aged structures incur rapidly rising maintenance needs and costs while simultaneously declining their effectiveness and posing potential threats to human safety and the environment. 

A true copy of report published by IIT Delhi, IIT Roorkee and UNU-INWEH (United Nations University) is enclosed herewith and marked as Annexure P-2 (Pg No. _______)

  • The Petitioner is made to understand the reliance on the said document was questioned by the State of Tamil Nadu, stating that the same is not a UN Report but an article published in a Journal and, supposedly, that the authors have neither visited the Dam nor conducted any test. As aforesaid, the UNU-INWEH is a part of the United Nations University, which is an academic wing of the United Nations that undertakes research. The report is made by a reputed, independent international body on ageing dams that pose a threat to human safety and to the environment. Even assuming to allow the objections as to the veracity of the report, it is indisputable that the Mullaperiyar is well over its intended/estimated age, that the technology used is far inferior to current standards, it is indisputable that the dam is situated in a seismically active area, prone to earthquakes and landslides, and it is beyond certain that any breach could result in widespread devastation. 
  1. The information available to the Petitioners and to the public at large through various mainstream news portals is that the studies conducted by IIT Delhi and IIT Roorkee have found the dam to be unsafe. IIT Delhi, after detailed evaluation of PMF (probable maximum flood) and flood routing study, concluded that the present Mullaperiyar Dam is hydrologically unsafe. The structural stability analysis conducted by the Department of Earthquake Engineering of the Indian Institute of the Mullaperiyar dam Technology, Roorke, has concluded that the main Mullaperiyar dam and baby dam are likely to undergo damage in the event of an earthquake. In the case of the main dam, damage is predicted in the event of an earthquake of a magnitude of 6/6.5 on the Richter scale in the vicinity of dam (within 16 km) when the reservoir level is at 136 feet. The baby dam is found to be safe for a reservoir level of 155 feet. However, it would also be unsafe under probable maximum flood condition when the reservoir level would rise up to 160.22 feet. The report said that at the reservoir level of 136 feet, the tensile stresses induced by the earthquake at the dam heel would be more than double the permissible value. The value was evaluated on the basis of data supplied by the Kerala Irrigation Department on average ultimate tensile strength of random rubble masonry employed in the construction of the dam. Most of the values adopted for material properties were based on the test conducted some 20 to 25 years back. The report noted that the dam would have undergone considerable deterioration during the intervening period because of ageing and weathering. As such, the assumed parameters might be naturally higher than the in-situ condition. Proper assessment of existing material properties is very important for safety assessment. Therefore, further testing on the dam and foundation materials was recommended. The IIT team remarked that the Mullaperiyar dam was a high hazard dam as per the criteria fixed by the Central Water Commission. However, neither Commission nor the expert committee appointed earlier had carried out dynamic analysis, taking into consideration the present actual in situ properties of structure, its foundation, geology and the site-specific seismic parameters. According to this report, they had concluded that the dam was safe, following simple pseudo statistical method of analysis. The earthquake coefficient taken by the CWC for the stability analysis of the Mullaperiyar dam was only 0.1g while the Indian standard recommended 0.18g. However, the team found that earthquakes in the region could produce possible peak ground acceleration of 0.21g at the dam site (unit g is the acceleration due to earth’s gravity). 
  • The Petitioners do not claim to be experts on the subject. The Petitioners, however, humbly submit that the fact that there are such drastically contrarian views, coming from experts on the subject, alone, is enough to validate the fear and threat that the people of Kerala face today. As the Petitioners and millions of common people in Kerala perceive it, there are experts claiming that the dam is safe, and there are equally competent experts on the subject warning of the grave and imminent danger. The safety of their very lives, the Petitioners beg to submit, cannot be left to chance. 
  • Extreme water inflow from prolonged rainfall, earthquakes and landslides in the reservoir are among the leading causes of dam failures. The heavy rainfall and flooding faced by the State of Kerala in recent years have raised serious concern and panic regarding the safety of the dam. The Mullaperiyar dam is situated in an area prone to earthquakes and landslides, classified as Zone-III. The zone is classified as a Moderate Damage Risk Zone which can face tremors up to an estimate of 5.6 magnitude on the Richter scale. It is reported that the area has become more vulnerable to earthquakes. Recent years have witnessed an increase in the frequency of tremors in the area, and a gradual increase in its magnitude. Given the rapid change in climatic conditions, and more and more low risk areas being elevated to high-risk categories, the possibility of an earthquake of 5.6 or higher magnitude occurring now or in the near future cannot be ruled out. 
  • Dr. V. P Jauhari in his paper “Reservoir-Induced Seismicity (RIS)” [add citation] states “The most widely accepted explanation of how dams cause earthquakes are related to the extra water pressure created in the micro-cracks and fissures in the ground under and near a reservoir. When the pressure of the water in the rocks increases, it acts to lubricate faults which are already under tectonic strain, but are prevented from slipping by the friction of the rock surfaces.”

A true Copy of Dr. V.P Jauhari’s research paper is enclosed herewith and marked as Annexure P-3 (Pg No. ________)

  • There is a world of difference among dam sites due to their geological characteristics, which are unique for each and every of them. This means that it is very difficult to predict whether earthquakes will occur. However, as far as the International Commission on Large Dams is concerned, RIS should be considered for reservoirs that are deeper than 100 meters. The energy which is released is nothing but a normal tectonic strain energy that has been prematurely released because of the reservoir. If we were aware of the state of stress and the rock strength at earthquake depths, prediction of RIS could be done, but those factors cannot be measured directly.
  • The Petitioners submit that studies show that though most earthquakes result from natural factors, several have been triggered by large dams which aggravate the intensity of natural faults in the geological make-up of earth phenomena, increasing the danger of reservoir-induced seismicity (RIS) by precipitating two possible mechanisms: (a) stresses generated due to reservoir load; and (b) crustal readjustment as a result of reduction in effective stress caused by increase in water pressure due to the weight of massive amounts of impounded water. The weight of the reservoir can also force water down micro-cracks and fissures and faults under and near the reservoir till it catalyses an earthquake. Also, the increase in pressure of water in the rocks acts to lubricate faults which are already under tectonic strain but are prevented from slipping by the friction of the rock surface. Scientific data obtained from various reservoirs establish the link between the filling up of reservoirs and increase in seismicity. RIS has been observed in about 100 cases all over the world to confirm this phenomenon. 
  • As far as the general population in Kerala is concerned, whatever the findings or reports by the various committees may be, to them, there is no reasonable explanation or excuse for allowing a 126-year-old structure, with an intended life span of 50 years, to remain in function. The concern of the common man is valid. The structure is well over twice its intended/estimated lifespan, it stands in a seismically active zone (Zone III) susceptible to fairly strong earthquakes of 5.6 magnitude on the Richter scale, it was build using technology that is far inferior in comparison to the present standards, and yet it is allowed to stand. If Tamil Nadu’s fight is for the steady supply of water, Kerala’s prayer is for their very breath. 
  • If the unthinkable were to happen, neither state would withstand the catastrophe. The steady flow of water from the Periyar to the state of Tamil Nadu will come to a complete halt, and the lives of over 35-40l akhs of citizens of this country, let alone their properties and crores worth of infrastructure, will be wiped away. The cost in terms of wealth and economy, and even environmental damage, howsoever enormous, would be not be comparable to the price paid in terms of lives.
  • The situation of water crisis or shortage in Tamil Nadu is not what it once was. The water from the Periyar has changed the face of the 5 districts it touches. Today, there are methods of water conservation and irrigation techniques that can be explored to ensure, at least, a fairly sufficient or steady supply of water. The Petitioners submit that as expressed by the Kerala Government, Tamil Nadu can create additional storage facilities at appropriate places in Tamil Nadu and enhance the capacity of the Vaigai dam to store water drawn from Mullaperiyar. The capacity of the existing tunnel can be enhanced or an additional tunnel can be constructed for drawing more water, which will help to keep the reservoir level at a safer level without reducing water viability as suggested by an empowered committee constituted by Supreme Court in February 18, 2010. That being said, there is no plea or even the faintest intention to adversely affect the water supply from Kerala to Tamil Nadu in any manner. The Petitioners echo the sentiment of the common man that we are children of the same soil standing on either side of a border. Neither one’s interests can be afforded to be overlooked. 
  • As early as in 1979, a team of engineers headed by the then Chairman, CWC had made a specific recommendation to construct a new dam as a permanent solution. In pursuance of the above recommendation, a joint team of engineers of Kerala and Tamil Nadu made a reconnaitory survey of the area downstream of the existing Mullaperiyar Dam. The team located a technically suitable site for a new dam 1300 ft downstream of the present dam where a new dam could be constructed without affecting the safety of the old one. As part of further investigation, 19 boreholes were also taken during the period 1981-82 and found that good rock is available for founding the dam. But this proposal for construction of a new replacement dam was however not pursued at that time.
  • The Petitioners are made to understand that the problem is compounded by the fact that hardly any up-to-date early warnings systems, emergency action plans including evacuation plans exists in the case of both Idukki and Mullaperiyar and that no dependable dam break inundation study is available to determine the zones to be evacuated. In any case, evacuation of people in the event of a dam break from three to five highly populated districts is practically impossible.
  • The age of the structure, inferior technology, the materials used, the geographically sensitive area and the increasingly harsher climatic conditions being pivotal factors, any report guaranteeing the safety of the dam is of little solace to the population, especially since the same has been contradicted by other expert bodies, time and time again. When even an alarming number of modern dams across the world, including the most technologically advanced structures have crumpled under the pressure of environmental and other factors, wreaking havoc in its way, how can the citizens living in the vicinity of the Mullaperiyar dam and the neighbouring districts feel any semblance of assurance for their safety. The lives of over 40 lakhs of people, their wealth and properties cannot be allowed to dangle precariously and be left to chance. If there exists even an element of the risk that Kerala apprehends, then whatever measures humanly possible to ensure the safety of the people is required to be taken. This would mean decommissioning of the dam and construction of a new one to ensure water to Tamil Nadu and security to people living downstream. 
  • As far as the people of Kerala are concerned, the dam and their lives could very well be hanging by a thread. Whatever be the intricate technical data, for which there seems to be no consensus among experts, it could be argued that there is no reason why a structure this old and which has the potential to wipe away half the state should be allowed to survive long after its intended period of use. As aforesaid, the archaic design and primitive construction methods coupled with the natural deterioration due to ageing have rendered the old structure unsafe and has become a constant source of fear and threat to the lives and properties of lakhs of people. The dam having been built during a time when the dam engineering was at its infancy, many of the major technical and construction requirements applicable to modern gravity dams were not followed in its design and construction.
  • Every such structure has a life expectancy. If not today, in the near future the Mullaperiyar Dam, whether it has been adequately strengthened now or not, will certainly have to be decommissioned and a new dam will have to be constructed. In such a situation, where there exist sufficient reasons for concern, the only real solution would be to construct a new dam for the benefit of both the states involved. 
  • Joseph Ellan, Director of Dam Safety, Pennsylvania State said in 1987: “With the exception of nuclear power plants, no man-made structure has a greater potential for killing a larger number of people than a dam.”
  • ‘Life’ in Article 21 of the Constitution is not merely the physical act of breathing. It does not connote mere animal existence or continued drudgery through life. It has a much wider, including, including the right to live with human dignity, Right to livelihood, Right to health, Right to pollution-free air, etc.
  • The right to life is fundamental to our very existence, without which we cannot live as human beings and includes all those aspects of life, which make a man’s life meaningful, complete, and worth living. Thus, the bare necessities, minimum and basic requirements for a person from the core concept of the right to life. In Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, the Supreme Court gave a new dimension to Art. 21. The Court held that the right to live is not merely a physical right but includes within its ambit the right to live with human dignity. Elaborating the same view, the Court in Francis Coralie v. Union Territory of Delhi observed: “The right to live includes the right to live with human dignity and all that goes along with it, viz., the bare necessities of life such as adequate nutrition, clothing and shelter over the head and facilities for reading writing and expressing oneself in diverse forms, freely moving about and mixing and mingling with fellow human beings and must include the right to basic necessities the basic necessities of life and also the right to carry on functions and activities as constitute the bare minimum expression of human self.”
  • “These are the minimum requirements which must exist in order to enable a person to live with human dignity and no State neither the Central Government nor any State Government-has the right to take any action which will deprive a person of the enjoyment of these basic essentials.” In Chameli Singh v. State of UP, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court had considered and held that the right to shelter is a fundamental right available to every citizen. And the same was read into Article 21 of the Constitution. Thus, ‘right to shelter’ was considered encompassing the right to life, making the latter more meaningful. The Court advanced: “Shelter for a human being, therefore, is not mere protection of his life and limb. It is however where he has opportunities to grow physically, mentally, intellectually and spiritually. Right to shelter, therefore, includes adequate living space, safe and decent structure, clean and decent surroundings, sufficient light, pure air and water, electricity, sanitation and other civic amenities like roads etc. so as to have easy access to his daily avocation. The right to shelter, therefore, does not mean a mere right to a roof over one’s head but right to all the infrastructure necessary to enable them to live and develop as a human being ‘Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of person.’
  • GROUNDS
  1. Grounds in support of the reliefs sought for are fairly elaborated in the statement of facts above and hence are not repeated. The Petitioner respectfully submits that paragraphs i to xxvi hereinabove may be read and treated as the grounds in support of the instant Writ Petition. 

PRAYER

THE PETITIONER, THEREFORE, RESPECTFULLY PRAYS THAT THIS Hon’ble Court BE GRACIOUSLY PLEASED TO:

  1. issue a writ in the nature of mandamus or any other appropriate writ or order or direction, directing the Government of Tamil Nadu to construct a new dam as also augment the storage capacity of the Vaigai dam downstream or construct additional dams or reservoirs to store the water drawn from the Mullaperiyar dam so as to allay the fear of the millions whose lives are at risk in the event of the unthinkable, namely the collapse of the Mullaperiar damn and as a fallout the giving away of the Idukki dam which is certain to cause the loss of 35-40 lakhs of citizens in the five Districts of Idukki, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Kottayam and Alleppey, nay the wiping out of the city of Cochin;
  2. issue a writ in the nature of mandamus or any other appropriate writ or order or direction, directing the Government of Tamil Nadu and the Gov of Kerala, so too, the Central Government to take such steps to strengthen the Mullaperiyar dam till an alternative dam is constructed downstream and/or the storing capacity of the Vaigai dam is enhanced or such additional storage facility is created in Tamil Nadu so as to keep the water level of the Mullaperiyar dam at safe levels without in any manner adversely affecting the water supply to Tamil Nadu or even the generation of power by Tamil Nadu;
  3. issue a writ in the nature of mandamus or any appropriate writ, order or direction directing the States of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and the Central Government to put in place adequate safety mechanisms to keep the loss to life and damage to property to the lowest possible in the event of the unthinkable happening, pending construction of a new dam meeting the highest of safety standards;

AND FOR THIS ACT OF KINDNESS, THE HUMBLE PETITIONERS AS ARE DUTY BOUND SHALL EVER PRAY

                                                                                             Filed By:    

                                                                                       Manju Jetley Sharma

                                                                                             Advocate for petitioners

                                                               AOR Code 350

                                                                                 Mathews J. Nedumpara

(Arguing counsel)   

Drawn by:

Nedumpara & Nedumpara

NEW DELHI

Drawn on: 19/12/2021

FILED ON: 19/12/2021

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