The Apex Court constitution bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha, while striking down the Kerala Irrigation Water Conservation Act on Wednesday, said that the water level in the dam could be increased to 142 feet.

Holding that there was no threat to the safety of the 120-year old dam, the court on Wednesday set up a three-member committee under whose supervision the water level will be increased from 136 feet to 142 feet.

To allay the apprehension of Kerala, the Apex Court said that the three-member committee comprising a representative of the Central Water Commission and a representative each from Kerala and Tamil Nadu will carry out regular inspections.

The committee will be headed by the representative of the Central Water Commission.

The Apex Court's verdict is a setback to Kerala's efforts to pull down the dam on the grounds of it being unsafe and then build a new dam.

The Apex Court had on August 21 last year reserved its verdict on the legal battle between Tamil Nadu and Kerala governments over Mullaperiyar dam.

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