UN Report on Mullaperiyar Dam – UPSC GS3

  • UN report provides an overview of the current state of knowledge on the ageing of large dams.
  • According to the report, four Asian countries – China, Japan, India and South Korea – contribute to 55% of dams across the world and the majority of these dams are approaching the 50-year limit.
  • Mullaperiyar Dam:
    • The Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala was built on the Periyar river in 1895.
    • The dam is located in a seismically active area, making it prone to earthquakes. The intended lifespan of the dam is 50 years.
    • A minor earthquake caused cracks in the dam in 1979, and in 2011, more cracks appeared in the dam due to seismic activity. It warns that in case of a catastrophe, 3.5 million people would be in danger.
What are the steps taken by the Indian Government to protect Mullaperiyar Dam?
  • In 1979, Central Water Commission(CWC) had reported some distress conditions in the Mullaperiyar dam. Thereafter, some emergency and short term measures were completed by the Government of Tamil Nadu.
  • In 2014, the Empowered Committee set up by the Supreme Court concluded that the Mullaperiyar dam was safe in all respects, viz., hydrologically, structurally and seismically.
  • In 2021, the World Bank-funded Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP), carried out dam safety inspections for 28 dam projects of Kerala.
Prelims Fact: Commissioning or decommissioning of dams owned by State Governments is exclusively within the purview of the dam owning State.
Scroll to Top