in the Idukki district of Kerala is 116 years old. It is built using
century old technology and materials. The engineer who built it
called for its decommissioning after a maximum of fifty years.
There has been
serious concern among people of the state of Kerala about the Dams
weak state and the ongoing mild to moderate tremors in the region
around the dam. However Tamil Nadu who is controlling the dam and
using the water from the dam is unconcerned and says dam was
Today, as the
water level rises in the dam during monsoons and tremors keep coming
back, frightened Keralites does not know what to do. Kerala Govt. is
running from pillar to post and there is no solution yet in sight
with Tamil Nadu strongly saying that Keralites are simply panicking
and that the dam is doing fine.
terror attack or security breach happens in our country, we point
fingers at our neighbouring country. But here is a problem that can
take the lives of so many innocent Indians, which can be stopped.
And what exactly is our political leadership in this country doing?
- Quoted from a Rediff Article linked
on this page .
Facts of the Matter –
Type of Dam
Materials used in construction
It is made with lime stone
and surkhi (a mixture of sugar and calcium oxide), a
construction technology of 19th century.
Location – Height
It is located 881 m
(2,890 ft) above mean sea level.
Location - Place
Cardamom Hills of Western
Ghats in Thekkadi, Idukki District of Kerala, India.
Who constructed it?
Constructed between 1887
and 1895 by the British Government
Why was it constructed?
To divert water from the
western side of the Western Ghats to eastwards to Madras
Presidency area (approx. five districts of the present-day Tamil
Height and Length
It has a height of 53.6 m
(176 ft) from the foundation and length of 365.7 m (1,200 ft).
What are the attractions around the Dam
Periyar National Park,
Thekkady, one of Kerala's major tourist centres is located around the dam's reservoir.
Who owns the Dam and the area around it?
Even though the dam and the
river are fully owned by and located in Kerala, the dam is
controlled and operated on a period lease for 999 years by Tamil
Water Level & Dispute
120 feet is wanted by
142 feet is wanted by
Present level in Dec, 2011
is somewhere around 136 feet. As the water level recedes and
increase during rain, people get more worried about the safety.
The Main Dispute
||Kerala says that the Dam is weak and needs urgent
decommissioning. At least they want the water level to be
maintained at 120 feet. Tamil Nadu says that the Dam is strong
for many more years and Kerala is unnecessarily panicking.
How the water is used
||Most of the water flows into Tamil Nadu for drinking and
irrigation through a tunnel on the Western Ghats. Five districts
in Tamil Nadu are known to use this water. Kerala has a mere one
generator running for electricity generation using the Dam water
- some reports say.
What does Kerala get for
||500 times less money compared to what other states in India
charge for the water they supply to the neighbouring states.
Highlight of the
This is one of the only Dam
still standing in the world which is Gravity Dam type made using
Lime Stone and Surkhi. Now more than 110 years old holding
around 15 TMC (Thousand Million Cubic) of water at almost 1 Km
above sea level.
Safety & Danger aspect.
Approximately 5 million
people living around and much below the Mullaperiyar Dam “may be
considered as the bravest group of human beings in the world for
living there peacefully even while knowing that they will be
washed away in less than 2 hours by the powerful water to the
sea, if the weak dam fails at any time in the near future” –
according to Wikipedia. Considering that water pressure from a
Mullaperiyar Dam may also break Idukki, Cheruthoni, and Kulamavu
Dams down stream, makes it an even more powerful water bomb.
Looks like there are no easy solutions. Two sides are warring
and the ferocity is increasing day by day. There is no doubt
that human lives are more valuable than irrigation and drinking
water. The fear about the Dam is genuine owing to its age and
indication at the time of construction that decommissioning must
happen in stipulated period. There must be goodwill and concern
in both states. Leaders must sit down and decide on
decommissioning at the earliest to allay mortal fears of the
people of Kerala. At the same time Tamil Nadu must be reassured
that once the new Dam is done, water is theirs.
Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy's slogan looks apt under
the circumstances. "Safety for Kerala and Water for Tamil
Nadu". People of both states should not look at each other
in the eye with contempt and disrespect. However, urgency of the
matter is paramount.
My knowledge on a Dam is basic. However I
have been thinking, is there a way to continue to give the water
to Tamil Nadu while decommissioning is in progress? Tamil Nadu
in a video linked from this page, argues that if a new Dam is
constructed down stream, they cant get enough water due to the difference in
altitude for the proposed new Dam.
A separate story :
Sir, Why the Mullaperiyar was leased for an endless 999 years?
History of Idukki & Mullaperiyar Dam
Situated at a height of almost 1km above sea
level, Mullaperiyar Dam is a masonry gravity dam
over River Periyar and its tributary Mullayar. Dam which is situated
in picturesque Idukki district of Kerala has become a nightmare for
the people of Kerala from four districts. With a height of
approximately 54 meters, it was constructed by Britisher’s in the
Idukki district of Kerala has
famous tourist locations such as Thekkadi, Periyar Tiger Reserve,
and Munnar. It is also the powerhouse of Kerala with Idukki hydel
project and dam. Idukki Dam is a 167 meters high arch dam. Idukki
dam stands between Kuravanmala and Kurathimala. Idukki’s main dam is
one of the highest arch dams in India. The lake created by the dam
is an area of 60km2
Photo : View of the Mullaperiyar Dam.
A silent spectator to the events on the ground
and the raging dispute between two neighbours, this engineering
marvel is abound with natural beauty surrounding it.
Arch Dam on
the River Periyar;
Idukki arch dam is the largest in Asia of
that type. This dam holds far more water than Mullaperiyar. The fear
is that in the event of a Mullaperiyar break, Idukki might follow.
Courtesy : Wikipedia.
Back to the top
The Main Fear about Mullaperiyar:
Many years have passed since
the dispute and the fear about the Mullaperiyar dam’s safety has
come up. However, recently, many earthquakes have occurred in the
area surrounding the Mullaperiyar dam. Well aware of the almost
decaying conditions of the Dam, Keralites fear that dam will break.
There are also study reports from Roorkee IIT which substantiate
that belief by saying that on a point six Richter scale earthquake,
the Dam will collapse. If anything untoward like that happens, water
will flow toward the much larger Idukki Dam. Idukki Dam will however
fail to withstand the pressure of the incoming water and burst.
Assuming such a catastrophe happens, the flood of that mass of water
shall take out 4 districts.
latest development, Kerala Govt. has now appointed the Roorkee IIT
team again to find out what will happen if the Dam burst. They have
asked the IIT team to do a dam break analysis to find out how much
water will rise in various areas and how many lives will be lost.
Roorkee signed up to
conduct dam break analysis – A Hindu Report
No mechanism to monitor impact
of tremors on dam - IBNLive.com
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How and who built
the Mullaperiyar Dam?
The British engineer Colonel John Pennycuick who designed the
Mullaperiyar dam is
much loved by the local population and people of Tamil Nadu who
benefited from his great dedication and hard work. At such a time
when the dam building technology has not progressed or become
reliable, construction of such a large Dam as the Mullaperiyar, in
itself is a marvel.
Photo of Colonel John Pennycuick,
the British engineer who designed the Mullaperiyar dam
& the panel on the dam that reads his name.
Mute spectator to the events on
the ground, the panel says that the Mullaperiyar Dam was designed by
the engineer Colonel John Pennycuick. Colonel is a highly respected
figure among the locals of Mullaperiyar and those who benefit in
Tamil Nadu from his legendary construction.
“The dam that has weathered 116 summers is an architectural and
engineering marvel, says a retired PWD engineer, who had worked at
the dam site. But what is amazing is the admiration the common
people of Madurai and surrounding areas still have for the dam’s
Colonel John Pennycuick, whose portrait can be
spotted on the walls of homes and small shops amid pictures of
gods” - according to a IBN Live article linked below.
The idea of harnessing water flowing in the
western side of the Western Ghats and directing it to the eastern
part of the mountain range itself was a innovative thinking at the
time. Tamil Nadu (erstwhile Madras) with their much arid land and
scarcity for water quenched much for water from the Kerala’s
erstwhile Travancore region. This idea of getting the water to the
eastern side was several times thought of and abandoned due to the
difficulties involved at the time.
Also, a tunnel had to be drilled in the Western
Ghats to take the water to the other side. The dam was christened
Mullaperiyar as it is located at the headwater of the Periyar river
after its confluence with the Mullai river.
“To ferry limestone — an estimated 80,000
tonnes of it went into the construction — several innovative methods
were adopted. One, through a wire ropeway from Gudalur hills to
Thekady and then by bullock carts into forest and another was
through a ropeway linking the dam site itself. Apart from that,
bunds were raised across another river called Mulliya Panjan that
flows into Periyar and on the stagnant water stretch boats were
plied.” - according to a IBN Live article linked below.
Mullaperiyar dam: An engineering
marvel – IBN Live
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Details of the
Now coming back to the story of Mullaperiyar
Dam, it has been a concern for people of Kerala for several years
due to the fact that its lifetime is long over as per the engineer
who constructed it who gave it a life of maximum fifty years. This
specified life is over more than 50 years before. However this Dam
is still standing and storing up to 15 TMC of water (TMC = Thousand
Periyar lake, a major tourist attraction is
formed by the Mullaperiyar dam. On 29 October 1886, a lease for 999
years was made between Maharaja of Travancore, Vishakham Thirunal
and Secretary of State for India for Periyar irrigation works. Under
what circumstances this lease was given is unclear. It seems there
was pressure from the British over many years for signing this lease
agreement. After the Indian independence, this lease agreement
expired and it was renewed in 1970 by chief minister C. Achutha
Menon. Tamil Nadu pays Kerala a meager amount for occupying a vast
land surrounding the Dam and for the water they consume for drinking
and irrigation. The lease provided the British the rights over "all
the waters" of the Mullaperiyar and its catchment basin, for an
annual rent of Rs. 40,000.
Water from the dam is diverted
eastwards to service farmers in Tamil Nadu while it is also used by
a small level of electricity generation by Kerala since some years.
Mullaperiyar: The Problem and the Solution! -
Mullaperiyar Dam - Wikipedia
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Concerns of Kerala
Kerala is concerned about the
fact that the area around the dam has been witnessing repeated earthquakes over the last many years. Centre for Earth Sciences a
Trivandrum (CESS), a state Govt. organisation has concluded that the
structure would not withstand a major earthquake.
The dam's structural safety was also
questioned in 2009 by experts from IIT Roorkee suggesting that it
may not be able to withstand a quake measuring more than 6.4.
Concerns mainly revolve around factors such as the age of the
Dam, construction materials used for the Dam. The other issue is
that if the Mullaperiyar brakes and all the water flow into Idukki
Dam which is much larger, whether that Dam can withstand the
pressure from the gushing water.
The major confrontation between Tamil Nadu and
Kerala over the issue started sometime in the year 1979 and still no
constructive discussion has taken place between the parties to
settle the issue amicably.
The Tamil Nadu Govt. refutes allegations that age has withered the
dam. There are arguments that if the world's oldest Kallanai dam
(built in the second century AD) in Srirangam in Tiruchirapali
district is still functional and continues to irrigate about 4,000
sqkm, why can't the Mullaperiyar be as well?
Kerala says that water for Tamil Nadu and Safety for Kerala is their
slogan on the issue.
Kerala has even offered to
release water from the Neyyar reservoir to compensate for the water
from Mullaperiyar in the event of an agreement to decommission it in
order to construct a new one.
Latest news is that the
Prime Minister has agreed to call both Chief Ministers for a
discussion. But mired in the issue with the FDI in retail in
parliament and outside, we have to yet to know when this will
FAQ: What is the Mullaperiyar dam issue? – By Rediff.com
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Tamil Nadu stand
Tamil Nadu states much larger dams on the river
Narmada which is much older stands even now without an issue. They
say Kerala is unnecessarily panicking. One channel host asked one
journalist from Tamil Nadu recently whether they plan to keep the
dam for 999 years as the lease period. As the engineer who built it
gave it a life of 50 years it is a big question how a lease much
more than that was in fact allowed to be formed in the first place.
Kerala and Tamil Nadu has arguments and counter
arguments. Tamil Nadu claims nothing untoward is going to happen and
that it is mere panic and Kerala is asking while they are offering
the same amount of water from a new Dam, why Tamil Nadu is
hesitating to allow the construction of a new Dam.
The specific issue surrounding the Mullaperiyar Dam can be described
as the following.
It is the responsibility of the Tamil Nadu government to do the
maintenance of the Dam made of limestone and mortar 116 years ago.
When Kerala raised concerns about its strength, a concrete cap was
put on the dam to increase its weight by 12,000 tonnes and cable
anchoring was done to withstand tremors. Tamil Nadu says these
measures have strengthened the Dam and made it as good as new.
However Kerala contends these are cosmetic reinforcements and does
not help in anyway in alleviating the perils that the Mullaperiyar
Two of the main point of the arguments between
Tamil Nadu and Kerala are:
1. Kerala's refusal to acknowledge the genuine
need of the farmers in the otherwise drought-prone regions of Tamil
Nadu for the waters of the Mullaperiyar.
2. Tamil Nadu's refusal to see that it cannot
rely on or continue to expect more and more from the resources of
another State to satisfy its own requirements to the detriment of
the other State.
A solution perhaps lies in acknowledging the two
truths, but neither government can afford the political
repercussions of such a confession.
Fact that Kerala is talking about putting
thousands of human lives in jeopardy by continuing to operate the
dam should in fact open the eyes of Tamil Nadu. Why it doesn’t is a
big question. They vehemently oppose building a new Dam and
decommissioning the existing one.
Back to the top
on Mullaperiyar Dam:
Kerala is ready to abide by the Supreme Court
decision. However, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy says that because of
the urgency of the matter we want a more immediate solution. He also
says that while Jayalalitha, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu is opposed
to Koodankulam Nuclear project which cost the Federal Govt, 20,000 Crore
rupees and built using the most modern technology and safety
precautions, she doesn’t care for the Dam which is threatening the
lives of millions of people of Kerala.
Central Govt is apparently in a fix. First the
union water minister took position that we will await the court
decision. However later he changed the stand saying that the Prime
Minister will involve and talk to two chief ministers.
Picture : Protests in Delhi over
Mullaperiyar continue: MPs from Kerala
cutting across party lines protest at the Parliament House for the
immediate intervention of the Prime Minister in the Mullaperiyar dam
issue in New Delhi. Kerala state cabinet is considering a special
meeting of the State Cabinet on a session of the State Assembly on
the dam safety issue.
There have been strikes and protests
in the affected districts of Kerala especially in Idukki
Kerala’s central ministers including
AK Antony is taking a measured response approach though mostly
aligned with Kerala’s concerns.
Tamil Nadu is also protesting at
various political levels against a new dam and alleging that Kerala
is creating panic. Tamil Nadu wants to wait for the Supreme court
order and they are in no hurry or concerned about the anxiety and
fear of the people of Kerala.
that the Kerala opposition headed by the strongman VS Achuthanandan
has said that they will collect funds from the common man to
construct a new dam if the authorities fail to respond to peoples'
Emotional protests on the banks of Periyar - A Hindu Report.
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Tamil Nadu stands like a rock when Keralites are
wondering whether and when the Dam will break. Dam failures are
comparatively rare, but can cause immense damage and loss of life
when they occur. Dams are considered "installations containing
dangerous forces" under International Humanitarian Law due to the
impact of any failure to the Dam can cause to the human lives.
Wikipedia has a page called
Dam Failure which describes other Dam failures that happened in
the world. Extreme inflow, Sub-standard construction materials /
techniques, are two reason listed there. However they don’t list
Earthquake as a reason. But we all know the damage frequent Earthquakes
have been causing across the world and a Dam that is more than hundred
years old is not immune to the havoc a major Earthquake can cause.
Earthquakes in the areas of
the Dam have so far measured between 2.8 and 3.4 on the Richter
scale. However as Earthquakes are something no one can predict, one
is worried the havoc a larger one can play on the Dam.
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Tamil Nadu – Why are they so stubborn?
Tamil Nadu is using Mullaperiyar water for
farming in a large region. Their concern mainly stem from the fact
that any new Dam will stop that water flow. A new Dam building is
expected to take at least two to three years. Also their concern
could be from the fact that existing lease agreement could be
cancelled and a new one put in place. The charges that Kerala levies
on leased land, water, and electricity production could be revised.
Also, their present control over the dam shall have to be forfeited.
However their main concern remains that water
would stop flowing into their fields for irrigation and drinking
purposes. But Keralites on the other hand is worried about their
lives which is a much bigger concern deserving the first
Apart from providing drinking water to the people of
Madurai, Theni, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram, the diverted waters of
Mullaperiyar dam helped irrigate about 80,000 hectares of parched
land in these districts.
They have been promised the same amount of water
from a new Dam. It is merely because of the large possibility of a
Dam failure that Kerala is panicking. If Tamil Nadu have compassion
for Keralites, they must agree to build a new Dam. Hence it is clear
that the people of Tamil Nadu are as concerned as Keralites because
they stop getting drinking water and irrigation water once the Dam
goes. But whose concern is bigger? Fearing for life or fearing for
the non availability of water? Also, Kerala reiterates that the same
amount or more water would be provided to Tamil Nadu once new Dam is
Chief Minister Jayalalitha
has recently written to the prime minister much to the ire of
Keralites saying that the Dam was
fine and Kerala is unnecessarily panicking . Another political leader of Tamil Nadu, Vaiko, is also
speaking provocatively over the issue saying that the political
parties of Kerala are instigating violence.
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Dam 999 – The Film.
Tamil Nadu has banned this recent Hollywood
movie. Dam 999 interestingly specifies the lease period of the
Mullaperiyar Dam. It depicted the dangers of a Dam failure, namely,
the Dam in Banqiao in China. Movie makers say that the movie is
based on the 1975 disaster in Banqiao in China which killed 2.5 lakh
people. Movie energized the rivalry between Kerala and Tamil Nadu
over the Mullaperiyar dam.
Mullaperiyar Dam: A long history
of mistrust and dispute – The NDTV
Banqiao Dam failure - Wikipedia
DAM999 Movie 3D
Website - Official
Dam 999: A bizarre film that provides no insight into the dam
– The firstpost
Nadu went to court for banning of the film and the file director
went to Supreme Court over the ban seeking removal of the ban in the
Back to the top
Prime minister and the
Supreme Court’s decision.
delegations from Tamil Nadu and Kerala took up the issue with him
yesterday, Dr Manmohan Singh indicated that a meeting of Chief
Ministers of both the states could be convened to find a solution to
the issue. Those who met Dr Singh included MPs from Tamil Nadu and
Central and state ministers from Kerala. However this is yet to take
place. Though one can hope for the best, hope is not reality and
nothing much is expected to come out of this meeting.
Matter is before the Hon’ble
Supreme Court also. The Hon’ble
Supreme court could take a long period of time to come to a decision
and people of Kerala do not think they can wait for a court decision
due to the fact the urgency of the matter. Court also has already
requested both parties repeatedly to settle the matter through
Last time Hon’ble Supreme Court considered the case
before the court, they asked for both Kerala and Tamil Nadu to
maintain the status quo.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court appointed a committee to look
into the dispute on Feb 2010. Committee is headed by former Chief
Justice of India Justice (Retd) A S Anand. The committee was
appointed to look into the Dam safety and the dispute in-depth. But
the committee in fact declined to permit Kerala to produce
additional evidence on the issue of the Mullaperiyar Dam safety.
Such a committee which makes one sided decisions shall not be
considered as a neutral arbitrator for both states.
Hon'ble Supreme Court while hearing the
petitions of both Tamil Nadu and Kerala on 13th Dec 2011
asked both parties to keep cool. They were considering the petition
of Kerala to lower the water level to 120 feet which they did not
allow. They also did not allow Tamil Nadu to raise it above 136
feet. Court scolded Tamil Nadu for quoting the court in the ads they
gave in Kerala and also said that lives are more important than
The apex court is awaiting the report of the
Justice Anand panel appointed by it to look into the safety aspects
of the dam. But it is unlikely that the verdict will be accepted
with grace by the losing state.
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level raising anxiety level:
One of the immediate requests from the Kerala Govt. to the Tamil
Nadu Govt. in a Dam administered by Tamil Nadu, is that the water
level be lowered to 120 feet from the current more than 136 feet.
However Tamil Nadu wants water level in the Dam to be increased to
142 feet. Tamil Nadu is asking for the Dam's storage capacity to be
increased by raising the dam height - from 136 feet (41.5 m) to 142
feet (43 m) to meet growing irrigation needs in the state.
Kerala is asking for reducing the water level as an immediate relief
for the millions of frightened people in the area and four adjacent
districts. However, their major request is to decommission the Dam
as soon as possible and build a new one.
Back to the top
political analysis of the Mullaperiyar Dam issue:
In Kerala, the political parties are by and large united on the
Mullaperiyar Dam issue. They only have minor differences so far.
They understand that the people of Kerala are very angry and afraid
especially since the 26 mild earthquakes within the last few years
that hit the region near the Dam.
Most of the people of Kerala blame the impotent state and central
politicians and parties for doing nothing for so long though it is
mostly an issue between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Another fact is that
it is not a water dispute any more as many people portray.
Mullaperiyar Dam dispute is purely a dispute about a Dam and its
safety though Tamil Nadu is trying to make it look like a water
dispute. Kerala has repeatedly stated that the same amount of water
will flow into Tamil Nadu after a new Dam is erected. Politicians
as well as the people of Kerala truly believe that Dam is weak and
decaying although they have not so far achieved much in terms
of moving towards any resolution. This is because Tamil Nadu is very
firm in their repeated declarations that the Dam was strengthened
and is doing fine.
On the Tamil Nadu side, I don't believe that any politician either
from the DMK or AIADMK will be able to tell the people of the five
districts of Tamil Nadu who receive the Mullaperiyar water that "let
us allow a new Dam and let Keralites sleep well". The moment they say that, I assume, people will turn against them
because the water from Mullaperiyar sustains them on a daily basis
since they use it for irrigation and drinking.
of both DMK and AIADMK will be only able to take a position opposing
any new Dam construction. On the other hand if AIADMK who rules
Tamil Nadu makes a move on that direction (they will never do that)
and supports a new Dam as requested by Kerala, people of the
affected region of Tamil Nadu will receive unconditional support
from DMK. They will go onto exercise their options such as
withdrawing from the central Govt. of UPA for which they are
providing a number of MPs.
Hence there is no way that there will be political unanimity in
Tamil Nadu in support of a new Dam. On the other hand they are all
likely to unite against a new dam as proposed by Kerala. Even if for
argument sake, we assume that they come together and
support a new dam, people will create such havoc and protest that
their unanimity will not be sustainable.
In this situation only steps such as a
Dam as proposed by Kerala or a way to
continue to give
the water while building a new Dam may be only ideas left. Tamil
Nadu has already opposed to the new Dam down stream in a new site
because they say that the tunnel that ferries water to Tamil Nadu at
the moment won't be able to find enough water if Dam is built down
stream as the elevations will change.
The federal government and the Supreme Court are in a catch-22
situation. The federal government is caught between Tamil Nadu and
Kerala. If it leans towards Kerala, the Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK)
will pull out from the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) resulting
in the fall of the government. The other way round, the Chandy
government which is already sitting on the fence may lose power.
There is also every likelihood that the regional parties such as
Kerala Congress will pull the plug in Kerala if the centre favours
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Dam safety : A National
In India, there are many Dams built during British era. At least 500
Dams are said to be too old. Mullaperiyar Dam is one of those Dams.
One of the issue with the Mullaperiyar Dam is its highly elevated
location. A deluge will wipe out the down stream population because
the water pressure will be too high.
A Dam safety bill distributed in the Indian parliament in 2010 is
not yet discussed. Tamil Nadu is of-course opposing passing of the
bill due to the Mullaperiyar issue. Kerala's water resources
minister PJ Joseph has been campaigning for this bill to be passed.
Dam Safety bill is not proposing any penalty for those who caused
the damage. This is one clause that is important too. In any case,
if there is a federal agency such as the Dam Safety Authority of
India responsible for the safety of the Dams, I believe people
will be able to breath easy. They must have clear authority to
decide whether or not a Dam can remain in operation and they should
take the responsibility of any breach.
Many infrastructures that the British constructed during their
occupation is still going well in India. But Dams being lethal water
bombs, even if a dam is going to survive the next 10 or 20 years,
from a safety perspective, it needs to be decommissioned after the
stipulated life. In the case of Mullaperiyar dam, that life has far
Back to the top
Debating the Mullaperiyar Dam issue with a Tamilian:
I have been asking my friends and acquaintances whether any solution
strike their mind on the Mullaperiyar Dam issue. Some of them showed
a blank face, some thought and yet some others said that it is
politics and blamed all sorts of people. Few offered any meaningful
Today I struck a conversation with a Tamilian friend and this is how
our arguments went.
First point of argument : I told him that people of Kerala
have mortal fears and they are genuinely scared. He said that the
Kallanai in Tamil Nadu is built during Chola period and is far more
old. I told him that Kallanai is very small (5.4 m high) and
Mullaperiyar is a much much bigger Dam.
See the facts section.
Second point: He said that there is a by-election coming in
Kerala and the whole issue is a political gimmick because congress
party has a slim majority. I told him that fact is that congress
party is in no position to take any political advantage because
people are blaming entire array of politicians for doing nothing.
Third point: He says what guarantee is there if a new Dam is
built, it will be safer? I told him it will use the best
technologies and material. I told him it will use m30 concrete which
is much stronger than Surkhi and Lime Stone used presently in
Mullaperiyar Dam. He says that you have corrupt politicians and they
will eat all the allocated money in commission for a new Dam. I told
him we haven’t yet reached a stage where corruption eats into even a
Fourth point: Finally I pulled out the big one. Earthquakes!
He immediately shook my shoulder and asked, "Did you feel it?" I
said No. I didn't feel much. He said, that's it. These are small
tremors and your dam will remain unaffected by it. I was dumbfounded
and let him leave immediately.
The friend also did not forget to threaten me that if Tamil Nadu
stops movement of vehicles between Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Keralites
will starve within a day. I was surprised to hear that shocking
revelation. I hope & believe Keralites will be still standing at
least more than 24 hours after such a blockade. He meant to mean
that many things including food items, vegetables enters Kerala from
Tamil Nadu and we will be seriously affected.
If I and my Tamilian friend can not find any common ground, ( he
hails from Chennai and does not use Mullaperiyar water either for
drinking or irrigation) how can millions of people across Tamil Nadu
and Kerala are likely to come to a consensus? If Tamil Nadu is not
even ready to sit down with Kerala politicians for a face to face
conversation, (efforts so far by the central Govt. has failed) how
on the earth are we going to forestall a catastrophe of a
Mullaperiyar dam breach?
If we cant drain the waters of Mullaperiyar with everyone's
permission (namely Tamil Nadu, its people, Hon'ble Supreme court,
central Govt.), and build a new one in its place, the only course
ahead of us may be to build a new Protection Dam 300 meter down
stream as suggested. So that at least if the Mullaperiyar dam is
breached, water will find a place to rest. However this will be to
the dismay of Tamil Nadu as in the future when Mullaperiyar dies its
slow death or breaches, water will not flow into their state any
In the current scenario, if the Mullaperiyar breach and the deluge
moves through the Periyar down stream, and struck Idukki dam, no one
knows exactly what will happen. We cant anticipate that the massive
amount of water from the Mullaperiyar dam will come and rest at
Idukki like an obedient circus lion. That's just hope and hope is
not a strategy as Hillary Clinton recently said.
It is better to take this step of building a Protection Dam sooner
than later because if we let this issue drag on, more animosity
between Tamilians and Keralites will follow. It is to no ones
benefit to destroy the cordial relationship we have had for
Back to the top
Let us apply precautionary
principle on Mullaperiyar:
Precautionary principle is simple. It is based on the belief that
prevention is better than cure. We have a Dam for which the
following is true:
Situated almost 1 km above sea level. (Imagine the pressure of
water when it comes down)
Aged - 116 years old (Advised by the creators to demolish after max.
Possibility of flooding in the dam’s lake due to climate changes
owing to global warming.
Earthquakes in the surrounding areas; moderate so far but no one
knows when a big one will strike.
Built using old construction technologies - materials such as Surkhi
Fact that in the event of a Dam break, much bigger Idukki Dam down
stream could also brake.
Under the above conditions, question is, even if this Dam is
capable of standing well for the next 20 years, why not raze it
assuming that the likelihood of dam failure and the danger to the
common public is very very high.
James Wilson Assistant Executive Engineer (Civil), Kerala State
has a detailed posting here on the subject of precautionary
principle. He argues that precautionary principle is the main
basis of argument for a new Dam by Kerala on the Mullaperiyar Dam
issue. He says that in the event that the scientific and technical
evidence is not conclusive enough, precautionary principle must be
applied in the case of Mullaperiyar Dam.
State of Kerala can not take chances with peoples life and that the
Govt. is duty bound to protect it.
According to James, The origin of the Precautionary Principle can be
traced back to Germany in the 1970s with the Vorsogeprinzip.
Translated as the ‘Foresight’ Principle, this broad principle is a
philosophical approach to risk prevention by taking protective
measures against specific environmental/safety hazards in order to
avoid or reduce environmental/safety risks. This approach was
subsequently adopted in various International agreements.
When you apply precautionary principle in the case of Mullaperiyar
Dam, the question again is, what one can do? Because of the fact
that a resolution on the dispute between Tamil Nadu and Kerala is very unlikely to
be forthcoming, the only option that looks viable is to build one
Protection Dam downstream with central Govt. permission and be ready
for the disaster. Protection Dam will face the deluge and stop the
water from Mullaperiyar right there and save us from imminent danger.
Back to the top
Keralite and Tamilian second:
Let us think like an Indian before thinking like a Keralite or
Tamilian. One problem that India is plagued with is that we are too
regional minded, cast minded, religion minded, linguistically
minded, north, south minded etc. We are not Indian minded. You can
come across many people who say other region is bad, religion is bad
etc. There is no national integration or collective respect for the
When Mullaperiyar problem came up, it is leading straight to
violence rather than measured approach, independent evaluation of
the problem, dependency of the experts etc. Most importantly
discussion is not happening distrust and suspicion looms.
Let us be proud about our region and religion and other attributes.
There is nothing wrong with that. However let us also show respect
and tolerance towards other regions, religions, and most of all let
us be proud Indians.
Tamil Nadu's repeated refusal to attend meetings being called by the
centre in an effort to establish contact with both states is
particularly discouraging for those trying to move towards some sort
of a negotiated settlement.
One problem in the case of Mullaperiyar issue is that we do not have
a national institution of prominence such as a
Dam Safety Authority which will evaluate Dams and take
responsibility of the situation. Let those experts in such an agency
decide whether or not Mullaperiyar Dam is safe. Hence the best thing
we can do under the circumstances is to constitute such an authority
through the enactment of the Dam safety bill pending in parliament.
This can be done expeditiously so that further confrontation between
the states can be avoided.. Also there were suggestions that this
agency must be made above the states and the centre like election
commission so that their advise wont be contested.
In the latest stories coming out, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam is suggesting
that all the rivers and the Dams be handed over to the armed forces.
Essentially what he says is that the independent authority of the
armed forces can play a neutral and constructive role.
Someone said he belonged to Kerala, another said Tamil Nadu. When
will we say we belong to 'India'?
Kalam favours armed forces for maintaining rivers, dams -
It's time to rebuild India with statesmanship - The Hindu
Back to the top
Dam is not
in danger: A lone voice from Kerala:
Dr. K.C. Thomas who is a top expert in India on Dams, say that
Mullaperiyar Dam is not in a condition it made out to be by Kerala
and that it can weather any storm.
Arguments by Mr M.K. Parameswaran Nair, head of Kerala Special Cell
on Mullaperiyar Vs Dr K.C. Thomas, former chairman of the Central
Water Commission in presented in the Deccan Chronicle article linked
Dr. K.C. Thmoas is one person who says that there is no danger to
Mullaperiyar Dam. He is an authority on Dams and he is a Keralite.
He is very respected and we can not question his integrity and
honesty. According to the Gulf News article linked below, he is 90
years old and living in Thiruvananthapuram. He is one person who
inspected the Mullaperiyar Dam in his capacity as CWC chairman and
recommended strengthening measures before. He came into the scene in
1979, when for the first time the safety of the dam was hotly
discussed in the state. The Dam strengthening measures were done in
1981. Reportedly he reexamined the Dam after strengthening and
declared that the Dam structure as intact.
He also says in the reports linked below that no Dam was ever
damaged due to earthquakes. After reading his assertions on the
Dam, it is not wrong to doubt that whether what is going on in
Kerala now is a mass hysteria. When everyone says the same thing it
looks like that's what is right. An example is the ISRO spy case
which was finally proved as unsubstantiated.
However there are many others - many other experts who says Dam is
unsafe. What we have now is the ongoing investigation by
Supreme courts empowered committee. We have to wait and see what
comes out of that.
Again, considering the
precautionary principle, and doubts in peoples mind seeing many
ills Mullaperiyar Dam is visibly plagued with, the best course and
probably the only course for Kerala is to rebuild Mullaperiyar Dam
or at least build a Protection Dam down stream so that we are
prepared for facing any disaster.
Mullaperiyar: Why Tamil Nadu says no and Kerala yes - Deccan
CWC ex-chief’s remark a shot in arm for TN - Indian Express
Indian states fight over an old, damaged affair - Gulf News -
Dr. KC Thomas’s comments can be seen.
Back to the top
Home minister Chidambaram says Hon’ble Supreme court decision will
favour Tamil Nadu:
On Saturday 17th Dec 2011, news is coming
out that home minister P. Chidambaram has reportedly said that the
court will favour Tamil Nadu.
In a contemptible and irresponsible statement from the
country's Home Minister who is
supposed to remain neutral at all times, seems to have
clearly favoured Tamil Nadu in his
How can a minister of P. Chidambaram’s stature stoop
to such a level that he will make
prejudiced statements just to get the applauses of his local
country men? How will India
ever resolve its disputes if our national leaders act and
speak with such irresponsibility?
With this statement, one begins to wonder what kind of
national leader is
Chidambaram? How is he in a position to say that the the
Hon’ble court’s decision will be in his states
favour? Is he preview to information leading to such a
conclusion? Is he favouring Tamil
Nadu in the case before the court in his capacity as Home
Minister? How can he ignore the
mortal fears of the people of Kerala? What made him make such
a statement? Is
this because he want to pamper his followers or is it
something more heinous as an illegal
influence that he is exerting in the case? What a pity? One
thing is sure. This national leader is
acting like a local politician without considering the
interests of the country.
I wrote a
piece in this article called
Indian first; Keralite and Tamilian second. Does this mean not
ordinary Indians but also our national leaders are too
chauvinistic? How can we ever come to
find a solution if we have people like this? In comparison
Keralite leaders of national stature have
always also talked for Tamil Nadu delivering a measured,
Indian home minister P. Chidambaram in his statement
went on to say that the Supreme court’s
empowered committee will submit their report in February
2012. He said that either in February or in
March a Tamil Nadu favoured verdict will be delivered by the
Hon’ble Supreme Court. He added
that Kerala’s concerns will be over after the Piravam
by-election is finished which he says instigated political
parties to come out with Mullaperiyar issue at this point of
He said that Mullaperiyar Dam is
built for Tamil Nadu. I don't know whether he means to say
that Keralites should bury in its fury when it breaches even if it
built for Tamil Nadu as Tamil Nadu is not at the risk of
lives as the Periyar flows entirely through
Kerala and western Ghats protects Tamil Nadu from any affect
of a Mullaperiyar Dam break. He was
speaking at a meeting called in Chennai to discuss
Koodamkulam and Mullaperiyar issues. The
audience received his pronouncements with applause.
I do not understand how a home minister of India
sitting in his position responsible for the welfare of all
states, speak with such partiality and
belittling Keralites mortal fears by connecting it to
Central shipping minister G. K. Vaasan who also took part
in the same meeting reportedly spoke responsibly saying
that central Govt. is trying to find a solution that will not
harm any state.
Kerala Minister for water resources, P. J. Joseph has
already called for P. Chidambaram’s ouster from
the central ministry. He went onto say the minister
Chidambaram tried to influence the Hon’ble
Supreme Courts decision.
With his statements, the home minister ensured that
Keralites will seldom trust him in future in
situations where neutrality is expected.
Addition on 18th Dec : He later
retracted part of his statement concerning 'piravam by-election'
according to media reports. What a gimmick by our great politicians?
P Chidambaram pours fuel over raging Mullaperiyar issue - One
Kerala’s Mullaperiyar concern a bypoll by-product: Chidambaram -
Kerala Leaders Slam PC's Statement on Mullaperiyar - Outlook
Back to the top
Mullaperiyar Dam Issue : Links &
Mullaperiyar dam - Facebook
Rebuild Mullaperiyar Dam -
Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor)
Networked by Mullaperiyar – Times of India
Save Kerala Facebòòk Campaign -
NHRC refer Mullaperiyar issue to
full commission – DNA
Asianet News Network :: Mullapperiyar - AsiaNet has posted
several videos in their site related to the Mullaperiyar Dam
dispute. It is worth watching these videos to get the latest
updates. (All videos are in Malayalam.)
What invigorated Mullaperiyar Dam issue in Dec 2011 is the press
conference of minister PJ Joseph of Kerala. Video is given below.
Otherwise this issue has been on and off for the last 30 years.
Water Resources Minister PJ Joseph's press meet on Mullaperiyar Dam
issue – Asianet news video – Kerala water resources Minister PJ
Joseph’s heartfelt statement that he cant’ sleep worrying about the
Dam, Earthquakes and the lives of 30 lakh people from 5 districts
is what invigorated this campaign in the last month of 2011.
Combined with that when Tamil Nadu banned Dam 999 – the movie by
Sohan Roy, the doubt was strengthened that Tamil Nadu was trying to
hide something about the safety of Mullaperiyar Dam. Minister PJ
Joseph belongs to the Kerala Congress party which is a constituent
of the ruling coalition UDF. He openly criticized the central Govt.
for doing nothing.
DAMS-The Lethal WATER BOMBS (Mullaperiyar Dam Issue) – Documentary on YouTube
- This Sohan Roy directed Video is top class, an eye opener, and a
'DAMs - the lethal water bombs' could be termed 'a visual support'
for Kerala's longstanding demand for constructing a new dam at
Mullaperiyar. An Award Winning Documentary on Mullaperiyar Dam
Mullaperiyar Dam Issue
– Documentary on YouTube - A documentary by C-Dit (Centre For
Development of Imaging Technology) on the issue of Mullaperiyar Dam.
A "must see" for Keralites and Tamilians.
The Mullai Periyar Dam real story- Bit lengthy but worth watching
- Documentary by Tamil Nadu is narrated in Tamil - Those who want to
hear what other side has to say can see this video which is 42
minutes long. They delve into the history right from the
British period. They say that Idukki was part of the old Tamil Nadu
and explain about the rivers beginning is in Tamil Nadu in Sivagiri.
They also explain the various strengthening measures done for the
Dam. They say that strengthening measures makes the Dam very strong and blames Kerala Govt. for
releasing false propaganda.
Video alleges that Kerala is planning to
build a new Dam at Mullaperiyar to draw the water into Idukki Dam
for increased electricity production there.
Back to the top
The 'New' Dam - phrase leaders loath to use:
While Kerala based channel Asianet host
asked a CPM leader why your polit bureau avoided the term ‘new Dam’
in their statements about Mullaperiyar issue, the leader who was
attending the 'News Hour' program got agitated. In the same way,
Congress leaders of national prominence avoid the usage of the
phrase ‘New Dam’ at Mullaperiyar. Same is the comment from BJP also.
If you tell their national leaders not aligned to Kerala or Tamil
Nadu, the phrase 'New Dam', they will say 'no comments'. In fact
they say everything except the word ‘New Dam at Mullaperiyar’ which
Tamil Nadu vehemently opposes.
Keralites believe and fight for a new Dam at Mullaperiyar. However,
Tamil Nadu is very much opposed to the idea of a new Dam. The moment
someone talk about a new Dam at Mullaperiyar, Tamil Nadu goes on the
offensive. Kerala Chief minister often says that Kerala’s slogan is
‘Safety for Kerala and water for Tamil Nadu’ As long as the phrase
does not say ‘new Dam’ it is safe to use for leaders of national
prominence. But they have to be extra cautious to say the term ‘new
Dam’ because the word ‘new’ is sure to invite wrath of Tamil Nadu.
Across the border from Kerala, people do not want to hear the term
‘new Dam’. They can not conceive the idea of a new Dam at
Mullaperiyar. Anything else they are ready to listen. They are also
not ready to sit down and discuss the matter of Mullaperiyar as they
have already twice rejected the idea of talks mediated by central
Govt. I fear that this is also because they know Kerala will say the
phrase 'New Dam' in the meetings.
I still haven’t understood exactly how Kerala Govt. is going to
build the new Dam at Mullaperiyar. Whether it is by demolishing the
existing one or building one down stream. How can they demolish and
reconstruct without draining the 136 feet of massive water stored?
That's the most contentious of all. Tamil Nadu want to continue to
get water even when the construction is on. For it to be possible,
the only way would be to construct one down stream without touching
the existing Dam, wait for the present Mullaperiyar Dam's inevitable
fate whenever that comes and then construct a new one in the same
location if required. The actual formula of how it will work out
right now no one would be able to tell because both politics and
engineering side is not clear.
The legendary British engineer Colonel John Pennycuick
is known to have sold his wife's jewellery in the attempt to build
Mullaperiyar Dam after the first one washed away due to flood. His
efforts did not go in vain because for more than 115 years, Tamil
Nadu enjoyed the fruits of his hard work and devotion to the
Mullaperiyar Dam building. Now the great engineering work that
Mullaperiyar Dam is, should not end up in pieces through a Dam break
and become the monster that it made out to become. That's the main
hope I keep nursing.
Visit Mullaperiyar for an on the spot study, V.S. urges national
parties - The Hindu
Back to the top
Dams and Earthquakes:
In the Firstpost article linked below, they
sound warning that earthquakes can be recipe for disaster for Dams.
Recently in Sikkim where a major earthquake happened, there are many
Dams. The article says that the affect of the quake on these Dams
must be studied. It is further discussed that India does not have a
Dam safety authority and hence there is no system in place to ensure
safety of Dams.
Dam safety bill is most likely being rejected in the present
scenario connected to the Mullaperiyar dam issue due to opposition
from DMK (Tamil Nadu opposition) which have many members in the
Indian central Govt.
Idukki district where Mullaperiyar Dam is
located has encountered 26 tremors till today. In fact experts say
the region should learn to live with the phenomenon as the area came
under Zone 3 seismic category. This scenario of frequent tremors not
only affects the Mullaperiyar dam. It also affects other dams in the
area such as much more water holding Idukki dam.
Earthquakes are known to have caused cracks in Dams according to the
Firstpost article writer. However, he says that in countries such as
China the news is hard to come by although the damages to Dams are
Whether dams are earthquake proof is debatable.
Dr. K. C. Thomas, an expert on Dams has recently said that no
dams have ever been damaged due to earthquakes. He may be right. But
how far one can trust such comments even if it is coming from an
expert? We have seen what happened in Fukushima on the aftermath of
an earthquake and Tsunami. Did any expert anticipate that nuclear
plant would be damaged by a Tsunami? Similarly an old and ailing Dam
such as our Mullaperiyar may be wiped out by a powerful earthquake
that might strike the region (go forbid).
There are also doubts that large dams itself is becoming reasons for
seismic activities in regions which were previously not seismic.
Refer to the frontline article for further reading on dams affects
on seismic activities. “The theory had its critics too. The late Dr.
K. L. Rao, an engineer and a scholar, compared the Koyna reservoir
sitting on the earth to a fly sitting on an elephant. He dismissed
the theory saying that the fly's weight could not disturb the
elephant. Ant i-dam lobbyists, however, are still not convinced.”
In fact there are some things where human knowledge can not reach.
Science has some idea but not all scenarios are understood. Universe
and workings of the human mind are some examples of such scenarios
where there his complete ignorance for science. Affects of
earthquakes on dams can be classified as such an unknown area
especially on Dams constructed more than 100 years before using the
technology of that time. Another issue with earthquakes is that they
cant be predicted hence any precaution such as lowering the water
level can not be undertaken. Hence applying the
precautionary principle explained in this article, it is better
to be safe than sorry. That's why we continue to assume Mullaperiyar
dam is a threat to human populace in the region.
Dams themselves have been a controversial subject across the world
with many activists such as Medha Patkar of India turning against
it. Narmada Bachao Andholan would not have been forgotten by many.
Now in the Brazilian Amazon jungle a dam known as Belo Monte Dam has
been planned and the construction was met with many objections. The
celebrated director James Cameron is planning a movie based on the
indigenous people being uprooted due to the upcoming Dam. Brazilians
Govt. are said to plan 60 Dams across Amazon rain forest region.
That will be an environmental catastrophe. The proposed Dam Belo
Monte alone is expected to flood 400,000 hectors of the worlds
largest rain forest and displace over 20,000 indigenous people.
Construction was first prevented by a judge and now a go ahead has
A Message from James Cameron - youtube video
Dam safety and earthquakes - Water power magazine
Dams and earthquakes - The Hindu
Dam safety in Sikkim – we were lucky this time - the Firstpost
article on Sikkim earthquake
Association of State Dam Safety Officials - Damsafety.org
Dam Safety: Mullaperiyar and its implications - experts eys.org
Drowned Out - A documentary on the effects of Sardar Sarovar dam
on river Narmada.
Back to the top
irony of Koodankulam and Mullaperiyar agitations:
Mullaperiyar Dam is old and ailing.
Koodankulam Nuclear plant is newly built and certified by the top
experts of the country.
But in Tamil Nadu, people are agitating against the brand new and
certified safe Koodankulam nuclear plant and at the same time
agitating against the decommissioning plans of the 116 year old
Mullaperiyar Dam situated in a earthquake prone seismic zone 3
region. An earthquake of the scale 6 on Richter scale is capable of
damaging the dam which put the lives of 35 lakh people down stream
You may recall tat even the request by Kerala to decrease the water
level from the current 136 feet to 120 feet which will reduce the
water pressure on the Dam is being rejected by Tamil Nadu.
During the construction phase, in Koodankulam which took a long ten
years, there were no protests at Koodankulam after crores have been
spent and the safety has been double checked by top experts and
endorsed by the revered Dr. APJ Abdul kalam, former Indian
president, now there are strikes making the plant operation
Article linked below (Sify article) is raising many doubts
that there is a conspiracy behind the Koodankulam agitation in spite
of Prime ministers assurance that 50% power will come to Tamil Nadu
from the plant. Writer went onto claim that those backing the
Koodankulam and Mullaperiyar protests in Tamil Nadu are the same
group of people with vested interests.
The main question that arises is, article rightly ask, if a new
plant is not safe, how does these people take the stand that a 116
year old Mullaperiyar dam is safe?
“Conversely, if the 116-year-old dam is safe and its height can even
be increased despite the agitation in Kerala, why can’t a new plant
at Koodankulam commence power production despite the agitation in
the neighbourhood?” - quoted from the article.
Koodankulam plant can not be operated presently because the locals
does not agree about its safety. Why Tamil Nadu is not allowing the
same yardstick in Kerala and ask and wait for the agreement of the
local people to increase the dam water levels to 136 feet or 142
feet that the Tamil Nadu is fighting for?
Kudos to the writer of the article linked below, Mr. S R Gopal for
pointing out Tamil Nadu’s double standards absolutely clearly.
Koodankulam, Ground Zero - Indian Express
Mullaperiyar & Koodankulam: Dam(n) the politics - Sify.com
116-year-old Mullaperiyar dam safe, Kudankulam unsafe, for Tamil
Nadu - Economic Times
Kudankulam, Mullaperiyar: What they say about TN, Kerala - The
Back to the top
articles on Mullaperiyar:
The articles that
bring about a unique perspective and previously unheard of data will
be grouped here for those readers who want to go in-depth with the
Two States and a water issue - The Hindu
This one is by Ramaswamy R. Iyer published on Hindu on December
29, 2011. In one of the best analysis seen so far in the media on
Mullaperiyar dispute, Iyer who is a distinguished writer, delves
into the subject in-depth with well thought out ideas and
Mullaperiyar dam: An engineering marvel – IBN Live
Those who want to know how and when Mullaperiyar dam happened, this article is a must read. Writer reveals some so far unheard of
information. What hardships were suffered at a time when dam
engineering was in its infancy is well explained in the story.
Mullaperiyar: Why Tamil Nadu says no and Kerala yes - Deccan
In an article which says that Mullaperiyar condition and the risks
associated are not as grave as they made out to be by Kerala,
article contradicts the popular concept in Kerala that dam is in an
Kudankulam, Mullaperiyar: What they say about TN, Kerala - The
Here in an inspired writing in First Post, writer looks
at the similarities and contradictions of Mullaperiyar and
Koodankulam agitations. It reveals the double standards of Tamil
Nadu in dealing with these twin issues. Both are in a way fight for
safety; for safeguarding the lives and livelihoods of the
Mullaperiyar: chronicle of a stir - The Hindu
While discussing Mullaperiyar dispute, this 5 year old
agitation must be understood and learned about which takes place at
Chappath near Mullaperiyar in Idukki district of Kerala.
Resolving the Mullaperiyar conflict - The Hindu
Hindu again goes in-depth with some innovative ideas for
the resolution of the dispute that has been affecting the lives of
ordinary people of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
New dam needed at Mullaperiyar urgently: Shashi Tharoor -
Shashi Taroor is one politician who is very educated and
knowledgeable. It is always inspiring to listen to him. His ideas
are neural and sensible. Read this interview by Rediff.
Dammed if they do - Indian Express
By far I
have not seen any writing as sensible as Ramaswamy R. Iyer's. One is
published in the top of this list. He is a former secretary, water
resources, Government of India. Those who want to learn more about
the subject, this is a must read.
The Dams videshi builders rest in peace here – IBNLive
One exploratory story brought out by IBN. For those who want to
know how and when Mullaperiyar was created.
116-year-old Mullaperiyar dam is as good as new – The Hindu
appearing in the Hindu says, dam is not as threatening as it is made
out to be and almost as good as new. Lot of historical facts about
its construction is detailed by the writer A. Mohanakrishnan, who
has been handling inter-state river water issues on behalf of the
Tamil Nadu government, is advisor (water resources) to the
Mullaperiyar: Is there now light at the end of the tunnel? - The
First Post - In an article that came out in the wake of Prof. CP
Ro's suggestion lower the tunnel level which takes water to Tamil
Nadu and his subsequent ouster as Chairman of the protest council,
is a good analysis story and a must read.
A plan for resolving Mullaperiyar conflict - India Water Portal
- Open letter to the Prime Minister - Forum for Policy Dialogue on
Water Conflicts in India. Conflict resolution ideas are coming from
many sources who are sincerely interested in some sorts of a
resolution. However, sad thing is Govt. of both sates have not yet
come down from their extreme positions.
Living on edge all life - The Hindu - While millions of
farmers of Tamil Nadu shiver at the prospect of decommissioning the
Mullaperiyar dam, with three farmer suicides reported due to the
ongoing dispute by Jan 2012, there are another group of people
living in the immediate down stream of Mullaperiyar dam, those who
can't sleep for years for the fear of a dam break. Article is their
story - those people condemned to mortal fears with no solution in
Greens in Kerala against new dam in Mullaperiyar - Times of
India - While there is much clamor for new dam from Kerala,
there are also a set of people, mainly environmentalists, who are
against it. Dams are good. dams are bad too. On one hand when dams
help population with precious water, on the other hand it destroys
so much biodiversity and uproots indigenous and local people. Govt.
of Brazil if planning hundreds of dams in the Amazon region. Thinks
of its impact on a region known as the 'lungs of the world' and of
thousands of indigenous people. Acclaimed director James Cameron is
planning a movie on the Amazon dam plans. Also recall the epic
struggle of Medha Patkar, Arundhathi Roy, and group in India known
as Narmada Bachao Andolan.
Back to the top
The Hon'ble Supreme court's empowered committee on Mullaperiyar
dispute will meet again on January 24 and 25 to finalise its report.
The report will be then submitted to the Supreme Court in February.
On Jan 04 - 2012, Hon’ble Supreme
court appointed empowered committee on Mullaperiyar asked the
Geological Survey of India to study the chances of earthquakes in
Mullaperiyar and report to the committee within one month.
Back to the top
Latest news & updates on
Mullaperiyar Dam issue.
[- News articles for
further reading are grouped and linked below each
Mullaperiyar Disputes News & Article updates of later dates can be
Updated on Dec
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy writes to the
DMK supremo M. Karunanidhi:
As the year 2011 is coming to a close, Mullaperiyar issue dominated
the last month of the past year. Minister for water resources PJ
Joseph in Kerala, ignited the issue early in December through his
emotional press conference in which he said “i am unable to sleep
worrying about the lives of 35 lakh people” - worrying about
Mullaperiyar. Almost at the same time came the release of the movie
dam 999 which was eventually banned in Tamil Nadu. Till this day,
sensibility has not prevailed among people or politicians. They
either blamed the other state or blamed themselves for their
At the fag end of the year 2011, we bring out the latest articles
those are making headlines on Mullaperiyar issue. Chief among that
is the letter written by the Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to
the DMK supremo M. Karunanidhi.
Mullaperiyar issue: CM writes to DMK supremo - IBN Live
Kuttanad farmers worried over Mullaperiyar standoff - The Hindu
Expert: New dam will help Tamil Nadu, Kerala - Deccan Chronicle
Greens in Kerala against new dam in Mullaperiyar - Times of
Over 10000 lorries off the road - IBN Live
Back to the top
Updated on Dec
Farmers suffering owing to Mullaperiyar
Deepika report says
that farmers of Tamil Nadu are requesting the Tamil Nadu Govt. to
arrange for their produce to be sent to Kerala for trade. Their
situation is bordering on literally begging for mercy from everyone.
Lorry owners and farmers together gave the petition to the Govt.
about their grievances.
Because the movement of vehicular traffic is curtailed due to the
long violent atmosphere between the states, the goods movement into
Kerala is severely affected. This is causing the fruits, vegetables,
and milk to get rotten and unusable. Unusable Milk is being flown
into the ditches.
Report goes onto say
that when politicians took advantage of the situation, livelihood of
the ordinary farmers of Tamil Nadu were severely affected. Many
farmers are on the verge of suicide. What happens in Tamil Nadu now
is the sponsoured strikes by politicians. Farmers have started
hating these politically motivated movements by opportunistic
The fact that prices have not increased in Kerala and also that the
situation where goods arrive aplenty in Kerala have confused the
farmers of Tamil Nadu who thought Kerala was dependent on them.
People of Kerala are now thinking that nothing will happen even if
the goods do not arrive from Tamil Nadu. As a reaction of this,
yesterday Keralites have sent back some goods that arrived from
Tamil Nadu at Kumily in Idukki.
Keralites are now thinking that a state which has given water to
Tamil Nadu over 100 years without any hindrance, have not been dealt
with reasonably by the people of Tamil Nadu when Mullaperiyar issue
arisen. In fact they think that the treatment was rather cruel.
Keralites now think they should attain self reliance.
Because the vegetable price has come down sharply in Tamil Nadu,
there is meeting today by the Theni district collector involving all
political parties to discuss the situation.
VT Balram writes that Mullaperiyar must
become a diversion dam.
Kerala MLA writes in
this facebook page linked below that the Mullaperiyar must become a
diversion dam and Tamil Nadu must take more water and store it with
them so that the level of water in Mullaperiyar can remain at a
He writes that we must get out of this ‘new dam’ paranoia. It makes
a lot of sense in face of serious objection to a new dam by Tamil
Nadu. Previously, a similar but a different idea has come from Prof.
CP Roy who spearheaded Mullaperiyar agitation in Kerala.
suggested that the level at which Tamil Nadu takes water from the
dam be lowered so that storage can be reduced.
www.facebook.com/vtbalram - Facebook page of MLA VT Balram
Balram sceptical about new dam - Deccan Chronicle.
Updated on Dec 29, 2011:
‘Dam-break analysis’ begins at
The dam break analysis ordered by Govt. of
Kerala to be conducted by IIT Roorkeee has started at Mullaperiyar
according to media reports.
“The study looks at the possibilities of a break of the dam
structure and consequences, thereof, including disaster management
and mitigation.” - reports say.
Prof. S. K. Misra of IIT Roorkee is overseeing the dam break
analysis and related studies.
According to the report by Hindu, the objective of dam-break
modeling or flood routing is to simulate the movement of a dam-break
flood wave along a valley or indeed any area ‘downstream' that would
flood as a result of dam failure.
Mullaperiyar dam has become a point of major tussle between Tamil
Nadu and Kerala. Kerala is fearing a dam break in the backdrop of
recent mild to moderate tremors affecting a dam which is old and
weak. Tamil Nadu which uses the dam water says dam is strong and
Keralites are simply panicking. This dispute has reached dimensions
of massive proportions with people of both states angry with each
‘Dam-break analysis’ begins at Mullaperiyar - The Hindu
Survey on to identify safe zones - Times of India
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 28, 2011:
Kerala decides to go to Apex court for
complaining against empowered committee’s disregard:
Deepika is reporting that Kerala has
decided to approach the Hon’ble Supreme Court to complain about the
poor treatment Kerala officials have received from the committee’s
technical team members who visited Mullaperiyar.
The above plan to go to the court was revealed by revenue minister
Thiruvanchur Radhakrishnan of Kerala today. He also said that the
panel members were trying to submit a report favourable to Tamil
Nadu with the participation of Kerala members.
Mullaperiyar: Kerala stops TN from carrying
out repair works:
Media reports say that, Kerala police had
to intervene to stop Tamil Nadu from carrying out patchworks on
Mullaperiyar Dam’s baby dam as directed by the Supreme Court
empowered panels C. D . Thatte.
Jewellers in Kovai shut shops over Kerala
govt’s stance on Mullaperiyar:
In Kerala, except the marathon protests
that's happening in Chappath near Mullaperiyar, most of the other
protests have died down at least temporarily. However, in Tamil Nadu
that does not seem to be the case.
In Coimbatore, Jewellers have shut shop as part of the protest on
Mullaperiyar. Raja street where the Jewellery shops concentrate was
almost deserted. They are saying that peaceful negotiations must
begin instead of violence and spewing hatred. Their business has
come down a lot due to customers from Kerala staying away from
coming to Tamil Nadu. They rightly point out that both states must
remain good neighbours and harmony must prevail.
Jewellers in Kovai shut shops over Kerala govt’s stance on
Mullaperiyar - Times of India
Confusion prevails over Mullaperiyar issue - IBN Live
Mullaperiyar: Kerala stops TN from carrying out repair works -
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 27, 2011:
CP Roy removed:
CP Roy who was
spearheading the agitation from Chappath near Mullaperiyar that is
now five years old, has been removed from the Chairman’s position.
He has been removed from the position due to a letter he has written
to the PM and Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu stating that the row
could be resolved without a new Dam and by digging a new tunnel to
funnel water to Tamil Nadu at a water level of 50 feet in the dam.
Currently the tunnel that takes water to Tamil Nadu is at around 100
feet of water level.
Fr Joy Nirappel is the new Chairman. It may be noted that his letter
has become controversial and that's the reason for the change of
guard. Fr Joy announced that the letter CP Roy has written will not
in any way affect the protest strike that has been ongoing for
years. He added that the idea in the letter is CP Roy’s personal
opinion and the strike has a goal of a new Dam at Mullaperiyar and
nothing less than that.
Mullaperiyar row: DMDK chief Vijayakant
Leader of Opposition
in the Tamil Nadu assembly and DMDK leader A Vijayakant was arrested
on Monday along with party legislators and cadres for staging a
black flag demonstration against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in
Vijayakant was for protesting against Mullaperiyar Dam issue while
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is on a visit to Chennai. Many leaders
are trying to take petty political advantage out of the situation.
Another Tamil leader MDMK’s Vaiko’s speech that's on the Youtube is
also very inflammatory. These leaders are not helping anyone’s cause
except inciting violence and hatred between two states otherwise
living in total harmony.
NDMA puts on hold team for Mullaperiyar Dam
Tamil Nadu headed by
Jayalalitha seems to be able to even make sure Kerala does not get
even a disaster management team for the possibility to face
Mullaperiyar dam break.
Reports are coming on the web that the National disaster Management
Agency has put on hold the setting up of a team to formulate a
contingency response plan for the Mullaperiyar Dam in case it
bursts, the Tamil Nadu government said Tuesday.
Looks like Tamil Nadu has worn here also. Successfully stopping even
a disaster management plane essential for saving lives in case
something happens to the Mullaperiyar dam.
This has been effected till the time a Supreme Court-appointed
Empowered Committee looking into the dam safety issues submits its
It may be recalled that Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalitha
earlier written to the prime Minister of India expressing her
anguish over the plan to form a disaster management team for
Mullaperiyar. Jayalalitha has reportedly expressed her shock in a
letter to the PM. I have never understood that what is there to be
shocked about a preparation for a disaster management.
Committee appointed by Hon'ble Supreme court is expected to submit
their report on the Mullaperiyar dam dispute to the court in
Dam: Agitation council chief removed - IBN Live
Mullaperiyar row: DMDK chief Vijayakant arrested - IBN Live
NDMA puts on hold team for Mullaperiyar Dam contingency plan -
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 26, 2011:
Jayalalitha reports to visiting PM that
Mullaperiyar dam is in good condition:
Mullaperiyar Dam is safe and functioning well," she said urging him
to ask Kerala not to obstruct but to co-operate with Tamil Nadu in
carrying out the remaining strengthening works suggested by the
Central Water Commission and also the routine maintenance works.
Lowering the tunnel level that takes water
to Tamil Nadu:
A letter has been sent
to the PM by the Mullaperiyar Action Council Chairman C. P. Roy
saying that the water level in the dam could be lowered as requested
by Kerala by digging a tunnel 50 feet lower to the current tunnel
which takes water to Tamil Nadu. This is an innovative proposal
though it is received with mixed opinion among people and
PM - 'May consider central security for
Prime Minister Singh
who is on a a visit to Chennai mooted the idea of central forces
providing security to the Dam. This may be a good idea because
centre is accountable for what happens there. However if a disaster
strikes, the centre might just say “sorry”. In any case, it gives
some relief to the people in the immediate down stream. How the
proposal will be accepted by both states is yet to be seen.
Jaya meets PM; seeks financial package for TN - Hindustan Times
'We want to protect people living in the dam area' - Rediff
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 25, 2011:
committee's technical team visit boycotted by Kerala:
The visit by the
Hon’ble Supreme Court’s empowered panel’s technical team yesterday
at the Mullaperiyar dam site was a disappoint for Kerala with Kerala
officials boycotting the visit. Kerala officials were complaining
that they were not heard by the team who gave weight to what Tamil
Nadu officials had to say. The visit by the team was a result of
Kerala's request to study the effect of recent tremors on the
Mullaperiyar dam. However, they did not seem to focus on that
Special Cell chairman M.K. Parameswaran Nair has said that the dam
inspection by the technical team conducted on Saturday was very
disappointing to Kerala.
Considering the stand of C.D. Thatte, one of the team members and
home minister chidambaram’s recent remark that the court will favour
Tamil Nadu, raises serious doubts on the support that Kerala shall
receive from the empowered committee.
The main difference of opinion between Kerala officials and the
panel members was on the issue of the sonic test conducted at the
dam. While Kerala explained that the test was done only in one
block, Tamil Nadu said that the sonic test was done in three blocks.
During the visit and inspection, one of the team members has also
reportedly told one Kerala official to shut-up. Overall, Kerala
officials have reported it to be an embarrassing event for them to
the waiting journalists.
Vaiko blamed Kerala minister for the
escalation in dispute:
In a new development,
minister Vayalar Ravi who hails from Kerala and who is a central
minister, currently the Union Cabinet Minister of Overseas Indian
Affairs, talked to the leader Vaiko of MDMK, Tamil Nadu. Vaiko said
that a minister from Kerala threatened to uproot the Mullaperiyar
dam and that's what caused the consternation in Tamil Nadu. Minister
Vayalar Ravi explained that no minister form Kerala has done so.
However, Vaiko was not convinced. Finally minister Ravi agreed to
bring the matter to Chief Minister Oommeen Chandy’s knowledge.
Leader Vaiko has been instrumental in raking up the issue in Tamil
Nadu. Leaders from both states must try to defuse tension between
people and sit down for discussions with cool minds. However many
seems to be doing the opposite.
PM Manmohan Singh visiting Tamil Nadu for
two days starting Dec 25:
Prime minister Singh
is coming to Tamil Nadu at a time when two issues are burning there.
One on Mullaperiyar and the other regarding Koodankulam nuclear
Koodankulam issue and Mullaperiyar issues are expected to dominate
his visit. DMK leader Karunanidhi is meeting him to discuss
Mullaperiyar issue. This is the first visit of PM to Tamil Nadu
after AIADMK came to power in May 2011.
Rahman gets caught up in the Mullaperiyar
is not even leaving the celebrated musician A. R. Rahman alone.
Poor Rahman, Oscar winning music composer who lauded Ousepachan, a
Keralite music director for his work in the controversial film Dam
999 was blamed for his comments from some quarters. However, he made
some good comments after the incident calling for unity between
people and states.
He rightly said he supported the views of respected former
President APJ Abdul Kalam on this issue, who has favoured
inter-linking of rivers to solve water problems.
He had also said that water cannot be a source of conflict and that
the country cannot afford a war on water.
Three songs from now controversial director, Sohan Roy's Dam 999
whose film is banned in Tamil Nadu was shortlisted in the Original
Song category for the 84th Academy awards.
‘Dakkanaga Dugu Dugu’, ‘Dam 999 Theme Song’ and ‘Mujhe Chhod Ke’ are
among the 39 shortlisted songs for the prestigious Oscars and the
final nominations will be announced on January 24, 2012. What Rahman
said was that he wants Dam 999 to bring back the Oscars. "It's very
exciting and I want someone to join my league," he was quoted
Rahman says his comments on `Dam 999` twisted out of context -
Jaya to take up various issues of Tamil Nadu with PM -
Red-carpet welcome for Ayyappa devotees across border - The
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 24, 2011:
- Coimbatore buses to restart today:
Buses which have not
been plying between Tamil Nadu and Kerala from Palakkad due to
violence in connection with Mullaperiyar issue will be restarted
today after the violence has come down. However police protection is
being provided to the buses from Valayar check post onwards.
Empowered Panel's technical team are
visiting Mullaperiyar Dam today:
Hon’ble Supreme Court
of India appointed empowered panel members are visiting the
Mullaperiyar Dam today, on Saturday as the media reports say. They
have already visited Lower Periyar, Idukki and Cheruthony dams on
C D Thatte and D K Mehta, technical members of the committee are
staying over in Thekkady on Friday night and will proceed to
Mullaperyar the controversial dam site on Saturday. Other Kerala
appointed and Tamil Nadu appointed officials will join them in their
- Tamil journalists try to go to the Dam site with empowered panel
Manorama is reporting
that Kerala police stopped some Tamil journalists who tried to go to
the Mullaperiyar Dam site along with empowered panel's technical
members. Police acted on the basis of the complaints from Kerala
based journalists. Tamil Nadu officials who control the Dam tried
sneak Tamil journalists into the site - the report says. However
Kerala police acted rapidly and forcibly disembarked the journalists
from the boat. It was declared before that the journalists would not
be permitted to the site along with the empowered panel's technical
Kerala officials stay away from the panel
Protesting that the
empowered panels technical team is not listening to the views of
Kerala officials assigned to accompany them, Kerala officials have
decided to boycott the visit of the empowered panels technical team
on the Mullaperiyar dam site.
Experts leave for Mullaperiyar dam inspection - The Hindu
SC panel members to visit Mullaperiyar today - Times of India
Trichy farmers fear price crash if dam row continues - Times of
Mullaperiyar: chronicle of a stir - The Hindu
(The fifth anniversary of the Mullaperiyar relay hunger
is on Dec 24, 2011)
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 23, 2011:
Trade Bandh in southern districts of Tamil
On Thursday, farmers
have rallied in Madurai and post office in Gandhipuram came under
attack. Farmers were protesting against the new Dam idea at
Mullaperiyar mooted by Govt. of Kerala. 25000 farmers said to have
participated in the protest. They passed a resolution condemning
Kerala Govt. actions over Mullaperiyar.
Trading activity in Madurai, Dindigul, Theni, Sivaganga and
Ramanathapuram came to a standstill as almost all trade and business
establishments, with the exception of pharmacies, hospitals and milk
booths, downed their shutters.
Leaders who addressed the rallies conducted as part of Bandh
announced that the panic is being created unnecessarily in Kerala
and the Dam is safe.
Court panel's technical team soon visiting
Hon'ble Supreme Court appointed
empowered committee's technical team is visiting the Dams including
Idukki and Mullaperiyar. They are visiting Idukki Dam to analyse
whether it can hold the deluge if Mullaperiyar brakes. In
Mullaperiyar they are trying to ascertain the strength and capacity
of the Dam. Committee members declined to comment as the matter is
Committee members C D Thattae and D K Mehta will arrive at the dam,
along with the representatives of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Panel
members are expected to go to Mullaperiyar today evening.
Trade bandh total in southern districts - The Hindu
Maullaperiyar row: Farmers take out mass rally in Madurai, post
office attacked - Times of India
Empowered panel to visit Idukki, Mullaperiyar - IBN live
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 22, 2011:
20 minutes to run for your life if
Mullaperiyar Dam brakes:
Times of India is quoting the senior scientist John Mathai of Centre
for Earth Sciences (CESS) that those who are in the down stream of
Mullaperiyar Dam will have 20 minutes to run for their lives as the
incoming water column will be 30 feet high and fierce in its fury.
He says that trees and all other things such as, houses, animals,
etc on the route will be wiped
away along with the water. It will also submerge a 50 sq km area of
land downstream. This is in the event a 6 Richter scale earthquake
strike the region where Mullaperiyar dam is located which the
experts have said will destroy the dam.
Oommen Chandy says Jayalalitha shows
Chief Minister Oommen
Chandy of Kerala says that Tamil Nadu Chief minister Jayalalitha is
showing double standard on Mullaperiyar issue. He said that while
Jayalalitha is arguing for shutting down of Koodamkulam atomic
plant, she does not seem to care for the lives of 35 lakh people of
Kerala. He also said that Tamil Nadu’s unexpected behaviour on the
Mullaperiyar issue is creating problems for Kerala.
Technical members to inspect dam
Members of the Hon'ble
Supreme court’s empowered committee - C.D. Thatte, former Secretary
to the Ministry of Water Resources, and D.K. Mehta, retired Chief
Engineer, Central Water Commission — will inspect the Mullaperiyar
and Idukki dams from December 22 to 24.
The members visit is being highly anticipated by both states.
However the differing stand of the states will definitely put the
committee in a dilemma because a position supporting any state is
expected to become a big issue in the other state.
Keralite workers stuck in hostel and
quarters in Chennai:
Deepika is reporting
that in Chennai, Keralites are unable to go to work due to threats
from the Tamilians owing to the Mullaperiyar issue. Hence most
workers are remaining in their living quarters. They get water
and other amenities in these living quarters but they are living
like in an enemy country in their own country. The owners of
the businesses are not interested to send Keralites back to Kerala and
that's why they are still living in Chennai. The workers have been made
to live there without leaking out that information that Keralites
are living in the particular place. Some companies have taken Tamil
workers on a temporary basis also.
These people affected by the Mullaperiyar crisis is expecting that
somehow the issue will be solved quickly. However this looks like a
very complicated problem of inter state dispute over a Dam.
Those who are running small mom and pop shops have closed down their
businesses and come back to Kerala. However those who have large
businesses are unable to close it and leave. Though Tamil Nadu Govt.
is requested for help, they are not providing any major assistance.
Kerala Govt. is also not doing anything to alleviate the plight of
those Keralites who are stuck in Tamil Nadu during this time when
Mullaperiyar issue is ruling the roost. Just to survive the moment,
companies have been hiring Tamil workers for the time being.
Survey for a new Dam at
In another possible
setback for Kerala regarding the Mullaperiyar issue, the Union
Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has come out with the
claim that the state hasn’t sought clearance for initiating a survey
for a new dam.
This will be a new issue because Jayanthi Natarajan, the new
Minister of Forests and Environment is from Tamil Nadu. It can be
suspected that she is taking a decision favourable of Tamil Nadu. State Govt.
of Kerala has however denied this statement saying that permission
for the survey was already obtained and survey completed. Govt. of
Kerala is now awaiting the clearance for starting the construction.
committee is considering the detailed design for the new Dam
construction. At such a juncture this announcement by the central
ministry might backfire on Kerala.
"Kerala’s stance that the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the new
dam is under consideration of the Empowered Panel, the MoEF’s
revelation weakens its claim to build a new dam." - Says Truthdive
Kerala’s Additional Chief Secretary for Inter-State Waters K
Jayakumar claims that only the permission for the Dam construction
is now required. Kerala is now on the lookout for an agency to carry
out the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) for the purpose.
Survey for new dam gets muddied - IBN Live
Mullai Periyar: Kerala’s claim on new dam exposed by Jayanthi
Natarajan - Truthdive
Technical members to inspect dam tomorrow - The Hindu
20 minutes to run for your life - Times of India.
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 21, 2011:
MDMK’s road blockade against Kerala on
Deepika is reporting
that MDMK’s road blockade asking for Mullaperiyar water level to be
increased to 142 feet and asking for the violence against Tamils in
Kerala to be stopped has started in Tamil Nadu. They are blocking
all roads leading to Kerala from Tamil Nadu. Kanyakumari,
Coimbatore, Tirunelveli, Trichi are the districts where in 13 places
the road blockade has begun.
Police have blocked the borders of Idukki district due to the
blockade. Police reinforcements have been strengthened due the
chances of violence.
MDMK chief Vaiko asked his cadres to lead a peaceful protest. Strike
will go on from 8 AM to 8 PM today.
During the day as protests progressed, the MDMK leader Vaiko was
arrested by Tamil Nadu police. Nedumaran, the Tamil group leader
also was arrested along with Vaiko. They were arrested for braking
the 144 rule.
As part of the agitation to impose economic blockade on Kerala due
to Mullaperiyar dispute, blocking all routes, there has been
widespread violence in Tamil Nadu.
Leaders such as Vaiko of Tamil Nadu is pouring oil on fire instead
of trying to douse the fire that has been caused by the Mullaperiyar
We need cool minds and constructive discussion between these two
neighbouring states to put an end to the dispute. The hardships that
are being faced by the farmers in both states due to the violence
caused by the dispute is enormous because they cant sell their
produce. Kerala is suffering because they cant get daily use food
items such as vegetables, milk, fish etc. Also, we are moving into a
stage where Malayalis and Tamilians are hesitating to look into each
other on the eye. How can the neighbours be in such a state of
affairs and for how long?
against Kerala aggravates in Munnar in Idukki district of Kerala:
There are reports that
in Munnar which is part of Kerala, that the protests against Kerala
is getting stronger. Tamils and Malayalis are grouping against each
other in this region according to reports. Malayalis are also
leaving some areas such as tea estates fearing violence. Reports say
more Tamil people are reaching from Tamil Nadu in Munnar in an effort to
group Tamils against Malayalis.
Tamil groups are explaining to Tamilians living in Idukki district
that Tamil Nadu Govt. provides many different kind of benefits to
its people and if the Idukki district is joined with Tamil Nadu, the
benefits will come to Tamilians now living in Kerala. So there is
also a strong campaign in Munnar in an effort to join Idukki with
Some other repots say that the movement of vegetables between Tamil
Nadu and Kerala has come down a lot.
Sonia Gandhi requests to maintain calm on
Sonia Gandhi requested
both Kerala and Tamil Nadu to maintain peace and harmony on the
issue of Mullaperiyar. She made this request to the Kerala MPs who
have gone to meet her to discuss the issue.
ES Bijimol MLA writes to the Chief minister
MLA warned the chief
minister that the protests about Mullaperiyar in Idukki may not
remain in the Gandhian style if no solution is forthcoming happens.
The protests in Chappath near the Mullaperiyar dam will reach its
fifth year on Dec 25 and on that day she asked Chief Minister Oommen
Chandy to be present there.
Chandy demands new dam in place of Mullaperiyar - Manorama
Mullaperiyar: Jayalalithaa slams move to set up NDMA team The
SC's empowered committee to inspect Mullaperiyar Dam on Dec. 24
- All India Radio news
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 20, 2011:
Chief minister asks officers to ensure no
While violence is
reported to be taking place in both Kerala and Tamil Nadu owing to
Mullaperiyar issue, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy of Kerala asked his
senior police officers to ensure that no violent incidents against
Tamilians happens in the state. He further said that if at all there
are such incidents, strict action must ensue.
This is a good step because violence begets more violence.
Destroying the cordial relationship that Tamil Nadu and Kerala has,
will serve no purpose whatsoever.
Transportation between Tamil Nadu and
Due to ongoing violent incidents between the two states owing to
Mullaperiyar issue, bus transportation and movement of other
vehicular traffic remains affected in various border crossings
according to a deepika report today.
Meanwhile, former water resources minister of Kerala, MK
Premachandran in a lecture, stated that P. Chidambaram's statement
that Supreme court decision will favour Tamil Nadu shows that he has
lot of say in trying to create a favourable argument for Tamil Nadu
in the court.
Deepika is writing that ‘Mullaperiyar : the ways close’ - they mean
to say that the movement of traffic between both states is getting
seriously affected. They write that the TNSTC (Tamil Nadu State
Transport Corporation) buses are afraid to ply into Kerala and vice
versa Kerala state busses are hesitating to go into Tamil Nadu.
Reports are saying that, at Palakkad which is one major exit point
to Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu from Kerala, KSRTC buses didn’t ply
yesterday. Stone throwing and other kind of attacks on passengers
and showering abuses are the main issues being faced by the
There are also reports that the Tamil news papers which published
Kerala Govt. advertisement yesterday on Mullaperiyar issue were
burned today in Theni region.
Water level at Mullaperiyar dam needs to be reduced - Time of
ISRA Organised Seminar On Mullaperiyar Dam Issue Yentha
Self-immolation bid over Mullaperiyar dam issue - The hindu
Resolving the Mullaperiyar conflict - The Hindu article with
some innovative solutions.
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 19, 2011:
Vaiko for economic blockade on Kerala:
Vaiko has been the
most vocal and sometimes dangerous politician with comments against
Kerala on Mullaperiyar issue. He has always made very provocative
statements and brought ideas that are most radical to the table on
Mullaperiyar issue. He expressed happiness over home minister
Chidambaram's comments that Tamil Nadu shall definitely win the case
pending before the Hon'ble Supreme Court.
No one in Kerala made any suggestions against Tamil Nadu which is as
radical as what Vaiko has been saying such as 'economic blockade'.
He has so far made so many allegations against Kerala. The MDMK
chief, who announced a one-day symbolic blockade on Dec 21 of 13
roads leading to Kerala from Tamil Nadu, said, "Our point is clear.
Kerala must drop the idea of decommissioning and demolishing the
Mullaperiyar dam, which is very strong. The (Kerala) government
should also drop the idea of constructing a dam in Idukki, in the
pretext of generating power," Vaiko said. He also want to stop
giving power to Kerala from Neyveli. However regarding neyveli, he
said that was not in the plan for the moment but that strategy could
Ad war between Tamil Nadu and Kerala:
connected to Mullaperiyar Dam issue given out by Kerala Govt. is
appearing in Newspapers in Tamil Nadu today.
In the advertisement meant for the people of Tamil Nadu, Kerala
Govt. is proclaiming that Tamil Nadu would be given water after
ensuring the safety of the people of Kerala. Advertisement carries
the photo of Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy and is half page.
Adv. also goes onto assure Tamilians that all safety would be
provided to them while they are in Kerala and trusted that the same
would be done by Jayalalitha Govt. for Keralites who are in Tamil
Adv. went onto say that people from both states should keep calm on
the Mullaperiyar issue and that the new Dam is the only solution to
It may be noted that Jayalalitha conducted a similar exercise in
Newspapers in Kerala sometime back.
Mullaperiyar dam issue: Ad war between Tamil Nadu and Kerala -
Times of India
Mullaperiyar: 2-week pause in cardamom trade results in Rs 100 cr
loss - The Hindu
Mullaperiyar issue: TNSTC cancels buses to Kerala Zee News
Economic blockade only solution to reign in Kerala: Vaiko -
MDMK to seal six entry points to Kerala in Kovai - IBNLive.com
Farmers demand protection for Mullaperiyar dam - The Hindu
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 18, 2011:
Mullaperiyar Dispute : Home Minister
retracts part of his statement:
to the part of the article where we reported about
Home Minister Chidambaram's controversial remarks against
Home minister P.
Chidambaram retracted part of his statement against Kerala yesterday
saying that the 'Piravam by-election' part of his statements could
have been avoided.
In Kerala, all leaders right from Chief Minister to opposition
leader VS Achuthanadan and many other leaders from both sides
expressed their strong protests against minister P. Chidambaram.
His words when he retracted his statements were clear circus using
words ad they were not sincere. "That reference was not necessary
and it was not my intention to hurt the feelings of anyone. I
continue to believe that the issue must be resolved in a spirit of
cooperation and brotherhood between the people of the two states."
His words look good, how sincere he is the question.
Chidambaram withdraws comment on Mullaperiyar dam - Times of
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 17, 2011:
Mullaperiyar Dispute: A lull in the
political and protest activities:
In the Hon’ble Supreme
Court while Tamil Nadu insisted that we do not want to talk as the
empowered committee of the Court is investigating, Kerala complained
that Tamil Nadu is not talking. Kerala’s counsel Harish Salve
presented Kerala’s arguments before the court.
Meanwhile Kerala’s LDF is threatening to resurrect the protests
after a meeting they conducted yesterday.
Mullaperiyar Dispute : Violence previously
Mullaperiyar Dam dispute is an old dispute between Tamil Nadu and
Kerala dating back to 1970’s, it has never attained a colour of so
much anger and hatred between the two states. Though there are
reports of attacks in Kerala, nothing is substantiated. However,
more news about attacks and violence is coming out from Tamil Nadu
each passing day. Today there are reports of attacks in Chennai by
lawyers and another report where one Malayalam film crew shooting in
Thenkashi being asked to pack up in one hour. Two hotels, a bakery
and a juice shop in Little Mount are of Chennai were attacked -
police said on Friday. Director of the film said that local people
didn’t threaten them. He said that it is a group of people who
arrived from out side who caused the commotion.
Mullaperiyar row: Lawyers ransack Keralites' shops in Chennai -
Negotiating Mullaperiyar dispute - Daily Pioneer
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 16, 2011:
CISF Deployment request in Mullaperiyar by
Tamil Nadu rejected by Supreme Court:
Hon'ble Supreme Court
on Thursday yesterday rejected the proposal by Tamil Nadu for
deployment of the CISF at Mullaperiyar Dam premises. Tamil Nadu has
not been convinced with the Kerala state Police security at
Mullaperiyar. Court also scolded Tamil Nadu for not attending the
meetings being called by the central Govt. The court observed that
solving the issue through direct talks supervised by the PM is the
best way to settle this case. The Court asked Tamil Nadu to attend
Tamil Nadu argued in court that the issue is before the empowered
committee of the Supreme Court and that's why we are not agreeing
for talks. However Supreme court rejected this argument and said
that the fact that the case is before the empowered committee does
not stop Tamil Nadu from attending the talks with Kerala.
Meanwhile the local people from Mullaperiyar requested for urgent
decommissioning of the Dam due to the citing prevailing 'dangerous'
conditions. This plea was submitted by 19 local people. However, the
court has rejected this request. Court asked this team of locals to
go to the empowered committee as the issue is in their
Meanwhile Kerala yesterday appealed to the empowered committee of
the Supreme Court to lower the water level to 120 feet.
Central water ministry also informed Kerala that as Tamil Nadu has
not agreed for talks, the central Govt. initiated talks between
Tamil Nadu and Kerala has been indefinitely postponed.
Booklet in honour of man behind Mullaperiyar released - Times of
Mullaperiyar dam is safe, Tamil Nadu tells Empowered Committee -
Peaceful march by 30,000 demanding protection of Mullaperiyar -
The Hindustan Times
Tourism sector in Munnar, Thekkady badly hit due to Mullaperiyar dam
issue - Travelbizmonitor
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 15, 2011:
All Protests stopped in Kerala by all
parties on request from the PM:
After yesterday’s all
party meeting with the PM and on the basis of his recommendations,
agitations have been stopped in Kerala. However KM Mani of Kerala
Congress reminded that he is stopping the agitations only for a
month and it would be restarted after that if there are no credible
On the PM’s request that an atmosphere for talks must be created,
all the political parties have at least temporarily halted the
On another development, Tamil Nadu assembly has passed unanimous
resolution asking for Dam water levels to be raised to 142 feet.
They have also asked for CISF deployment is the site, warned Kerala
Govt. against disrupting the maintenance work. They wanted false
propaganda by Kerala to be stopped.
This makes it clear that there is rare unanimity in both states with
respect to the issue of Mullaperiyar. Kerala assembly also passed a
resolution stating out their demands such as lowering the water
levels to 120 feet.
Mullaperiyar row: Kerala ready for tripartite agreement -
Mullaperiyar dam: Kerala wants joint meeting with PM, Tamil Nadu
disagrees - NDTV
Mullaperiyar issue hits tourism season in Kerala - IBNLive
TN raiders give sleepless nights to villagers - IBNLive
Jayalalithaa questions Manmohan Singh's 'silence' on Mullaperiyar
dam row - Times of India
Mullaperiyar: protesters turn violent in Erode - The Hindu
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 14, 2011:
All party team from Kerala meets PM on
After Hon’ble Supreme
court came down heavily on Tamil Nadu yesterday for advertisements
that carried statements from the Hon'ble court, there has been some
relative calm on the Mullaperiyar issue. Next development has been
the meeting of the all party team from Kerala with the PM which is
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh apparently requested the leaders from
Kerala which included opposition leader VS Achuthanandan, Chief
Minister Oommen Chandy, and others that a conducive atmosphere must
be created for the talks between Tamil Nadu and Kerala to take
place. Following which, the KPCC leader Ramesh Chennithala announced
that Congress is stopping all agitations on the issue on an
immediate basis in Kerala.
The Kerala state government was expecting that the height of the
water level at the Mullaperiyar Dam to be lowered from the current
136 feet to 120 feet by the court yesterday. But the Supreme court
did not permit that.
With the court verdict yesterday, people in the area immediate
downstream of the Dam are even more scared because they have been
expecting that the court will come to their rescue.
"I always believe that humanism should prevail over legalism.
Whenever a court is hearing a case which concerns the right to life,
then let humanism prevail," Justice VR Krishna Iyer said about the
Supreme Court verdict.
Some reports in the media says that those who are leading the
agitation for a new Dam have lost faith in the system and leaders
are finding it hard to convince them.
"The advocate general's submission before the high court has already
been a blow to the people here. Now, the setback faced by Kerala in
the hon’ble Supreme Court has only aggravated their disappointment.
Now, we can't predict how they will react,'' MLA Bijimol who is
leading protestors in Idukki, said.
Meanwhile as directed by Supreme Court yesterday, Kerala will file
an appeal before the empowered committee on Mullaperiyar requesting
to lower the water level to 120 feet at Mullaperiyar Dam.
A dispute between two states makes it
is very complicated due to the fact that it is a dispute between two
states. When the national parties such as congress and CPM takes two
different stands in two different states, matter gets very
complicated. Congress in Kerala supports a new Dam and congress in
Tamil Nadu is against it. CPM in Kerala is supporting anew Dam and
CPM in Tamil Nadu will obviously stand against it. The National
leaders of these parties have to be tread a very line here. If
national leader is a Keralite he has to look like supporting Kerala
Otherwise Keralites will eat him alive and same if the leader is
Only few leaders such a Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, AK Antony - a
Kerala leader of national stature are sounding neutral or showing
the guts to remain neutral.
It is imperative that national leaders take a neutral stand on the
Mullaperiyar issue and make both states sit together to discuss the
solutions. There is no silver bullet out there. Parties must sit
together and iron out their differences and come to a logical
What happened to the site facebook.com/mullaperiyar?
Till two days back i browsed this page which was being posted every
ten minutes by a large number of people. However for the last two
days, it seems to have gone offline with no trace in the search
engines also. What happened to this popular page is a mystery. I
have been wondering if some opposed to Kerala’s view of the
Mullaperiyar Dam issue hacked into this page. But the site being
hosted by Facebook, it won’t be an easy undertaking to hack it. If
anyone knows, please update me.
It seems that late on 14th Dec evening i am able to browse the above
Congress Law makers from TN protest
outside the parliament:
They have protested against the recent legislation in Kerala
assembly to decrease the Dam water levels to 120 feet. They
protested saying that this is against Supreme Court’s yesterdays
verdict against reducing the water levels to 120 feet.
Congress MPs from Tamil Nadu protest over Kerala legislation on
Mullaperiyar dam - Times of India
Chandy meets PM on Mullaperiyar issue - Economic Times
Indian states fight over an old, damaged affair - A nice
analysis of the Mullaperiyar issue by the Gulf News
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 13, 2011:
"Douse the fire. Do not add fuel to the fire".
Supreme court to Kerala and Tamil Nadu:
In the cases that came up today before
the Hon’ble Supreme Court, they have advised both Kerala and Tamil
Nadu to keep calm. Neither the court allowed the water to be lowered
to 120 feet as requested by Kerala nor they allowed it to be raised
to 142 feet as requested by Tamil Nadu. Court directed Tamil Nadu to maintain the
136 feet level.
Supreme Court to hear
Mullaperiyar issue today:
battle for Mullaperiyar Dam is back at Hon’ble Supreme Court today.
A five judge constitution Bench headed by Justice DK Jain will hear
three applications from the two states today.
Supreme Court already constituted an
empowered committee and their investigations on the matter are
ongoing. Two members of this committee is visiting the Mullaperiyar
Dam site this month end.
The following issues are coming up before
the court today.
1. Tamil Nadu’s request for CISF to be
deployed in the Dam premises.
2. Another request from Tamil Nadu accuse
Kerala of spreading panic and they want Court to stop it.
3. Kerala wants water level to be lowered
to 120 feet from the current 136 feet levels.
I hope, everyone knows the background of
the Mullaperiyar issue as explained in this article. Hon’ble Supreme
Court has already advised the parties, Tamil Nadu and Kerala to try
for an out of court settlement of the Mullaperiyar Dam dispute.
However it looks like the chances of that is very remote while
seeing the sentiments being roused in both states due to this issue.
The sentiments have been raised so much that is has reached a fever
pitch stage. How much more this issue will drag on is a wait and
watch. Both sides does not seem to be relenting even a bit. DMK
leader Karunanidhi of Tamil Nadu in his statement asked the centre to resolve
the impasse before blood spills the streets. It is not clear what he
meant by it.
People of Kerala are
worried for their lives and people of Tamil Nadu are worried about
what to do when the water stops flowing for drinking as well as
irrigation. Tamil Nadu is a state with few rivers which it can
depend on for large quantity of water. Karunanidhi yesterday stated
that Kerala is trying to make Tamil Nadu a desert state.
Kaveri water dispute which is in some
ways similar to the ongoing Mullaperiyar Dam dispute, has dragged on
for many years. A tribunal appointed took many years to come to a
decision. However all states involved in the dispute such as Kerala,
Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka is planning to file review petitions on
Tribunals verdict. This shows how contentious such issues become and
that it can take decades to settle a dispute with all sides sticking
to their Guns.
Join Idukki to Tamil Nadu : Tamil Nadu
In the latest twist to the Mullaperiyar
Dam dispute, Tamil Nadu congress MPs have gone overboard and made
the most ridiculous suggestion. That’s to join Idukki with Tamil
Nadu. In some documents I red on the Internet and in a video
produced by Tamil Nadu, I have already seen the claim that Idukki
was actually part of Tamil Nadu before and the claim that more
people there, are Tamil speaking. They have even gone onto suggest
that a referendum must be conducted to find out what people want.
KM Mani - The one who takes a tougher stand
KM Mani and PJ Joseph of Kerala congress
have been sounding exceptionally tougher on the Mullaperiyar Dam
issue out of all the other leaders of Kerala. In his latest
pronouncement, he unequivocally put across a statement which says
Kerala needs no one’s permission to build a new Dam down stream. He
said that no one in Kerala will attack Tamilians in Kerala and if at
all there are incidents they are isolated and the work of antisocial
Indian Navy ready for the rescue:
I don't understand what rescue they can
effect if a Dam full of water comes crashing and crashes another Dam
on the way and the resulting deluge flows towards inhabited areas.
We have seen what level of rescue was possible in the event of
Tsunami in countries such as Japan. It will be a Himalayan task to
save and rescue people if the Dam decides to breach.
DMK fasts over Mullaperiyar Dam:
In Kerala and Tamil Nadu political
activity is getting stronger with both sides not ready to allow any
gaps in their declared goals. It is expected that the political
parties and formations will toughen their stand further in the
Keralites students suffering:
In another report in Deepika, Keralite
students are reportedly going through tough times in educational
institutions in Tamil Nadu. They are being denied water or enough
water with the claim that Kerala is denying water to Tamil Nadu.
There is no point in making the innocents suffer like this. Whether
in Tamil Nadu or Kerala, what use is there if people are made to
suffer? I keep thinking that a protection Dam downstream is the only
good idea which will satisfy both Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Kerala
because it gives protection from a possible Mullaperiyar Dam break. Tamil Nadu
because their water does not stop till the time that Mullaperiyar
Dam is breached or the Dam dies its natural death whenever that is.
Supreme Court to hear Mullaperiyar issue today - NDTV
Mullaperiyar Dam: Police lathicharged protestors - IBNLive
Mullaperiyar Dam: Navy ready for rescue
efforts - indian Express
Mullaperiyar: Mani sets 10-day deadline - IBNLive
DMK does an Anna, fasts for Mullaperiyar dam - NDTV
Mullaperiyar issue: Manmohan expresses
concern over violent incidents - The Hindu
Mullaperiyar dam row: Tamil Nadu, Kerala adding fuel to the fire,
says Supreme Court - Times of India
New dam needed at Mullaperiyar urgently: Shashi Tharoor -
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 12, 2011:
Tamil Nadu minister Pannerselvam's
attacked by Tamil Nadu protesters in Kumili.
(Based on Deepika & Hindu report)
Thousands of people who arrived from Tamil Nadu at Kumily check post
to protest on Mullaperiyar Dam dispute, were involved in violent
incidents near Tamil Nadu Kerala border.
Tamil Nadu finance minister Paneer Selvam who came to address the
rally was attacked by the mob. Condemning that Govt. failed to
protect their interests, an angry mob pelted the car with stones,
broomsticks and footwear.
Later police resorted to Lathicharge to disperse the mob. A van was
set on fire too in the area. Hindu report says there were 40,000
people present. The demands of the protesters included a Tamil Nadu
Govt resolution in the assembly to raise the water level to 142
feet. On 15th December an assembly session is already called for the
matter of Mullaperiyar dispute in Tamil Nadu. Protested were said to
be present in the site till the evening.
“ people from several villages in Cumbum valley and also from
Kamayagoundenpatti, Surulipatti, Goodalur, Cumbum, Chinnamnur, Theni,
Andipatti and nearby areas took out a rally towards the Kumily check
post, despite the barricades. Women carrying broomsticks too joined
the stir and raised slogans against Kerala. “ - report said.
Panneerselvam’s car attacked
- The Hindu
Supreme Court to hear Mullaperiyar issue on Tuesday - NDTV
Mullaperiyar: DMK MPs to observe one-day fast - IBNLive
Mullaperiyar dam row: Uneasy calm on TN-Kerala border, Karunanidhi
slams UPA govt - Times of India
Centre won’t take sides on Mullaperiyar issue: Antony - Deccan
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 11, 2011:
Dammed if they do:
In this article, writer argues that the farmers of Tamil Nadu who
has benefited from the waters of Mullaperiyar must show gratitude to
Kerala and not anger and resentment as seen now. Writer argues that
the agreements between Kerala and Tamil Nadu were fundamentally
wrong and one sided.
A special assembly session is called in
Tamil Nadu called:
A special assembly session is called in Tamil Nadu on December 15th
like the one held in Kerala recently. Such as the rare unanimity
seen in Kerala, Tamil Nadu's assembly meet is also expected to come
out with unanimous resolutions and decisions. "The resolution that
this state will not give up our rights over Mullaperiyar because of
the imaginary threat to the safety and security of the dam," is
expected to be passed in the assembly.
Tamil Nadu's firebrand politician Vaiko to
visit Kerala border Kaliyakkavilai:
On Dec 21st, Tamil political leader Vaiko will be visiting
Kaliyakkavilai in Kanniyakumari district in Tamil Nadu - (Based on
Deepika newspaper report).
Leaders such as Vaiko of Tamil Nadu is making provocative speeches
which might cause more problems between people of Tamil Nadu and
Kerala with regards to the Mullaperiyar issue. In the latest report
Vaiko is scheduled to speak in Kaliyakkavilai border town which
might cause another violence between people of both states.
There has been a lot of love and respect between people of Tamil
Nadu and Kerala and any damage to that cordial relations would be a
major price for the Mullaperiyar controversy. Deepika report says
that Vaiko was in the same border town one and half years before
campaigning about the Mullaperiyar Issue. Police found it very hard
to control both parties (people from Tamil Nadu and Kerala) during
that time. However the lack of amity that people witnessed after
that issue has been longstanding and the harmony between both states
was lost at least in that region due to the incident.
Central Govt’ active participation as a neutral negotiator may be
the only solace for both states in this environment of mistrust.
They have not yet been successful in bringing the parties together
so far. However, like what defense minister A. K. Antony said last
day, central Govt. does not have the power to issue orders to any
state. But they can still stand as a credible negotiator and they
have a responsibility to do that in the federal setup.
KSRTC (Kerala State Road Transport
Corporation) buses shy of plying in Tamil Nadu:
The attacks are continuing and KSRTC (Kerala State Road Transport
Corporation) is forced to pull out schedules due to the
deteriorating situation. The escalating situation on the various
border towns of Kerala with Tamil Nadu due to Mullaperiyar issue
will do no good for the cause of Mullaperiyar. Politicians and
people of both states must keep calm and come to an amicable
settlement to Mullaperiyar Dam issue at the earliest.
Dam Safety Bill - the panacea is stuck in
Dam safety bill pending in the parliament which will create an
authority for Dam Safety in India is touted to be a panacea for all
of India’s Dam safety issues including the Mullaperiyar issue.
However, there is no momentum for it at the moment in Indian
parliament. Parliament which is wasting its work days over numerous
sometimes petty, issues, however does not have the time and energy
to discuss such a vital law making is a sad
It seems this bill is waiting in the parliament for 30 years. As
suggested in the article, the agency that will be built for Dam
safety in India should be above state and central Govt. so that they
can work independently without political influences.
Parliament must complete the matter at the earliest by establishing
an agency capable of inspecting a ordering the closure of any Dam at
any time on account of safety.
CWC's (Central Water Commission) track record in inspecting and
maintaining Dams in India is abysmal. In the past, Dams under their
watch and certified functioning well are known to have breached in
See the Decay : Pictures from the site:
This page has some very shocking photos of the Mullaperiyar Dam.
This gives us a feeling of having visited the site in person. The
deterioration and decay of the Dam is well visible in many photos on
the page. The page rightly says that Kerala should not take any
chances with its people’s life.
Dammed if they do - Indian Express
Journey to Mullaperiyar – Shocking facts
Mullaperiyar stir: KSRTC buses run for cover
Dam safety Bill moots penalties, regulator
Mullaperiyar row: Jaya to convene special assembly session -
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 10, 2011:
Erath Quake reported in Mullaperiyar Dam region :
An Earthquake measuring 2.4 on the Richter scale is reported today in Idukki
region. Kulamvu, Moolamattam, Upputhura, Cheruthoni are the regions
affected. People are afraid after this latest Earthquake. There
have been 26 such mild Earthquakes so far in this region. The Earthquake was also felt in some regions in Kottayam district of Kerala.
The fact that the Earthquake happened in the region were
Mullaperiyar Dam is located, adds to the fear about the Dam. This
reinforces the doubt that Kerala had been expressing over the Dam's
Mullaperiyar Dam is full of Cavities:
this alarming report appearing in Times of India says that the
Mullaperiyar Dam is full of cavities including in the foundation
some large enough for a man to enter. The report says that the Tamil
Nadu engineers who were present during the inspection by an ROV
(remotely operated vehicle) on instructions from the Supreme Court's
empowered committee is also aware of the situation. Report says that
the water resources minister PJ Joseph and Chief minister Oommen
Chandy of Kerala has studied the report in-depth.
Citizen at Court to quash the lease pact
with Kerala and Tamil Nadu:
Battle for Mullaperiyar is already in the Hon'ble Supreme
Court. A civil suit was filed before the Ernakulam District Court on
Friday seeking a directive to declare the lease agreement over the
land in which the Mullaperiyar dam is constructed, as outdated. The
petitioner argues that the agreement was signed pre-independence and
after the independence the agreement stands void though the
agreement was renewed in 1970's.
Jayalaitha takes to print media with page
full page of Ads on Mullaperiyar dispute:
In an interesting new development on the Mullaperiyar
Dam issue, After yesterdays unanimous resolution by the Kerala
assembly in support of building a new dam at Mullaperiyar, Chief
Minister Jayalalithaa of Tamil Nadu has appealed to the people of
the Kerala state "not to succumb to divisive forces" in a full page
ad taken out in Kerala's major newspapers.
Following are some of the declarations in the advertisements by
AIADMK in Kerala's main stream print media.
"The Mullaperiyar dam is safe. It is designed to absorb and moderate
flood upto 400000 cusecs,"
"Human settlement in the area is much above flood waters of
Mullaperiyar. Only illegal resorts by land grabbers will get
submerged when storage is raised. Some cite this as reason for the
plea against dam," it adds.
The advertisements ends with the declaration on relations between
both states - "We are both committed to maintaining and cherishing
Karunanidhi's DMK has been spearheading a campaign to put the blame
on the AIADMK Govt. headed by Ms. Jayalalitha ruling Tamil Nadu. DMK
has announced a human wall like the one built in Kerala by the LDF
While the dispute boils, poor people living
around the Dam are suffering:
While the issue boils, the livelihoods are at risk too.
Farmers in both Kerala and Tamil Nadu are suffering as they trade
between the states. Moving of vehicles between both states, Tamil
workers not being able to attend the farms of Keralites in Idukki
etc are proving to be very difficult for the farmers causing untold
Mullaperiyar: Just a dam of cavities - Times of India
Plea to declare Mullaperiyar lease pact outdated - IBNLive
Mullaperiyar row: In full-page ads, Jayalalithaa says dam is safe
Mullaperiyar: Grapes, lives rot as dam issue boils - Times of
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 09, 2011:
Rare unanimity in Kerala assembly:
A special session of
the Kerala assembly adopted a resolution calling for a new Dam at
Mullaperiyar and asking for the water level to be stipulated at 120
feet. Resolution also announced their commitment to continue to give
water to Tamil Nadu.
The political parties in Kerala which have never have unanimity on
any issue, this time came together strongly with one voice on the
Dam issue. Only on the issue of the advocate generals statement in
Kerala high court opposition blamed the Govt.
However fact is that such resolutions for a new Dam at Mullaperiyar
was passed by the Govt's in the past also in Kerala. There seems to
be no firm indication of a resolution of this vexed issue whatsoever
on the horizon.
Ministers KM Mani and PJ Joseph of Kerala congress spoke sternly at
the assembly. They have been fighting more vigorously than any other
political party on the Mullaperiyar issue. PJ Jospeh has threatened
to go on fast at Delhi and KM Mani said that the Prime Minister must
make use of his powers to bring out a resolution to the Mullaperiyar
Protection Dam idea gaining momentum:
The subject committee of the
Kerala Assembly headed by Water Resources Minister P. J. Joseph
visited Mullaperiyar dam as part of its assessment of the
Mullaperiyar issue on Thursday.
Tamil Nadu officials who were
informed prior to the visit did not turn up at the Dam site.
A new idea being mooted by the
subject committee has been to build a new Protection Dam down stream
so that a break in the Mullaperiyar Dam can be contended in the new
Dam. This idea is gaining momentum because Tamil Nadu is not
agreeing to decommission the existing Dam. In this case, Tamil Nadu
will continue to get the water from the existing Dam too. Kerala
would need only central environmental clearance to go ahead an
implement such a plan.
Also a request would be made to
Tamil Nadu to reduce the water levels to 120 feet till the
construction of the new Dam is completed. Yesterday when subject
committee visited the Dam site, Tamil did not allow them to visit
the Dam gallery. This is because Kerala’s water resources minister P
J Joseph last week extracted some Surkhi material from the gallery
which was leaking and showed it to the waiting journalists. Large
quantity of Surkhi used in the construction is said to be leaking in
the Mullaperiyar Dam. This is when the external world came to know
that a large amount of Surkhi is leaking away from the Dam.
Dam gallery is meant to inspect
the Dam for its safety and leakage levels. It is needed to go into
the gallery to get a clear picture of the Dams condition. Experts in
the team said that as the Dam is leaking in many areas, no major
inspection is needed to understand that the Dam is in a weak and
Dam Safety bill from the
central Govt. has been one of the things Kerala’s water resources
minister PJ Joseph has been asking for long. He says that the bill
needs to come along urgently. He says that it will solve a lot of
problems not only with regards to the safety of Mullaperiyar Dam but
many Dams across the country.
Kerala Assembly adopts resolution for new dam - The Hindu
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 08, 2011:
Tamil Nadu does not want to talk to Kerala
about Mullaperiyar :
December 16 talks scheduled between Tamil Nadu and
Kerala and mediated by the central Govt. is not to be attended by
Tamil Nadu. It seems that this decision is influenced by the fact
that they want to wait for the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s final verdict
as the empowered committee headed by former Chief Justice A. S.
Anand is making their investigations. Tamil Nadu seems to be
expecting a favourable decision from the Hon’ble Supreme Court on
the water level at 142 feet argument in the case. This move is
definitely going to complicate the situation as in Kerala, people
are very upset and looking forward to rapid progress being made.
Protestors form human wall in Kerala led by
The latest in Mullaperiyar dispute is that the LDF (Left
Democratic Front) which is the opposition party in Kerala is
organizing a human wall. This wall will be built from Mullaperiyar
in Idukki district of Kerala to Kochi. Time that they have scheduled
is around 4 PM in the evening and it will cover the districts of
Idukki, Kottayam, and Ernakulam districts.
While in Kerala protests at various levels and areas are ongoing,
Tamil leaders such as Vaiko is also organising protests against
Kerala’s demands. They state that the Kerala politicians are making
this an issue and the issue does not merit such attention as called
Violence is reported in cities such as
Coimbatore and Chennai:
This report says that in Coimbatore where many Keralites have
business interests, widespread attacks have happened. Police in
Coimbatore is on alert and are trying hard to prevent any serious
attacks and violence. As the dispute is becoming more and more
contentious between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, in the coming days more
law and order problems must be expected. Near Coimbatore central
railway station, near Gandhipuram where the main markets and
important streets are, groups of people have participated in attacks
In some cases Police where able to reach the spot quickly and
prevent the attackers. However in some other cases, attackers have
been able to cause some damages such as damage to the glass,
furniture's etc. Some of them were reportedly shouting that
Keralites can leave the state if they can’t cooperate on the Dam
Tamil Nadu not to take part in talks on Mullaperiyar dam issue –
Indian protesters form human wall to demand new dam - BBC News
Mullaperiyar spills over to city streets - Times of India
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 07, 2011:
Battle is in Indian parliament: Tamil Nadu
and Kerala members clash:
This is not unusual in India. As this issue is burning in
the hearts of Keralites and those who might get no water due to the
Dam closing in Tamil Nadu, it is not unexpected. Members from Kerala
and Tamil Nadu clashed in Rajya Sabha over Mullaperiyar Dam
controversy, seeking Centre's intervention in resolving the
Ayyappa devotees from Tamil Nadu attacked
In a sign of growing unrest in Kerala on the
Mullaperiyar issue, Sabarimala pilgrims, Ayyappa devotees from Tamil
Nadu have been fearing attacks in Kerala. These developments will
not in any manner help the cause of a new Dam as it will polarize
both states in a bad turn of events.
Though political parties and leaders from both sides have been
appealing for calm, there seems to be no let up in the mood of
agitation and violence, though mild, so far, in both states.
On the Tamil Nadu sides, latest reports state that there have been
attacks on Keralites shops in Chennai and Coimbatore. Some Jewelers
in Coimbatore have been attacked. Police in Tamil Nadu have
registered a case. Joy Alukkas jewellery shop also has been
reportedly attacked by vandals.
Dams in the down stream may not survive a
This new report of different
accounts of whether or not the Idukki Dam can withstand the deluge
from a broken Mullaperiyar Dam has been coming out since last two
days. In the Kerala high court two experts have given varying
account of what would happen in such an eventuality. Kerala high
court asked the Govt. to study more accurately on this subject and
report back to the court in the next session.
Mullaperiyar Dam issue and the News Media:
There are more
than 800 news articles grouped in Google News as of today evening 6
PM (IST) on Mullaperiyar Dam issue. This time it does not seems to
die down so soon. Every time the problem has been that after an
initial outcry, the issue dies a silent death.
This time around, the national News Papers, TV channels sites, other
blogs, and social networking sites, etc participated in an incessant
news flow on the Mullaperiyar Dam issue.
NDTV, IBN Live, Rediff.com, The Hindu, Times of India, Deccan
Chronicle, etc have been at the forefront of bringing the latest
news and developments on the Mullaperiyar Dam issue.
BBC was the only global media known to participate in bringing out
the developments in Mullaperiyar as of today. American news papers
such as The New York Times, Washington Post, or LA Times is not seen
publishing any news items in this connection so far. Within the
social networking channels,
facebook.com/mullaperiyar page on the facebook is seen to be
quiet active with minute by minute postings. Some of the posts are
very funny also. Some are of a very serious nature. Many people post
in Malayalam, publish interesting graphics also along with the
In Kerala news sites,
manorama.com has been providing the best news coverage on the
Mullaperiyar Dam issue.
Mullaperiyar: Kerala, TN members clash in RS - Hindustan Times
Mullaperiyar issue: Scared Ayyappa devotees from TN returning home
- Asian Age
‘Cheruthoni, Kulamavu dams may not survive if Mullaperiyar
collapses’ - The Hindu
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 06, 2011:
Mullaperiyar Dam : Clashes reported at
Kerala - Tamil Nadu border:
Kerala Tamil Nadu border clashes are the latest reports
that are coming in on the Mullaperiyar Dam controversy. If this is
the way matter is progressing, there will be no easy solution to
this dispute. People and politicians from both states need to take
in to account the others concerns and find an amicable settlement to
Kerala Chief minister in a statement today said that people of
Kerala must maintain calm and must not indulge in violent protests
with regards to Mullaperiyar Dam issue. He said that any violence
will only affect the effort to come to a resolution adversely. He
reiterated that all efforts are being made to find out a solution to
Chief minister stated that Tamil Nadu has agreed to come for talks
and that the talks will happen soon. He said that the Kerala police
DGP is in touch with Tamil Nadu police and holding discussions so
that no untoward incidents happen. Chief minister Oommen Chandy said
that he instructed DGP Jacob Punnose to ensure that nothing happens
in Kerala that will damage the cordial relations between both
Tamil Nadu is a state that does not have
article describes in depth about the political positions, technical
aspects, and suggest solutions on how the row can be ended. it says
that the Tamil Nadu being a riparian state is dependent for neighbouring states for water.
In the year 1979, minister PJ Joseph
delivered the same fervent appeal he did this year in assembly:
TOI article explains that the same sequence of events where PJ
Joseph pleaded with the assembly to act and get the act together has
happened in the year 1979 also. Remember that this time the issue
triggered with PJ Josephs emotional appeal to the Govt. and the
centre to do something urgently. Which means this fervent appeals
and warning on the harms done if the Dam is breached, has been going
on for many years now.
Mullaperiyar dam row: Clashes at Kerala-Tamil Nadu border post -
Concerns of a lower riparian State - Dailypioneer
Mullaperiyar story was the same in 1979 too - Times of India
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 05, 2011:
An agreement that's not of equals by any
delves into the subject of water sharing agreements that Kerala has
a history of committing blunders with. Mullaperiyar agreement with
Tamil Nadu is one such agreement which was renewed even as recently
as 1970's in its 110 year old history. This renewal was also done in
a seemingly one sided manner where most benefits went to them and we
got pennies in return. At least a clause could have been added about
Mullaperiyar Dam decommissioning at a stipulated time.
Supreme Court's empowered panel on
Court appointed panel has met with the lawyers of both states and
took inputs about their positions. While Kerala's lawyers wanted the
committee to take into account frequent tremors in the region and
damage caused to the Dam due to these tremors, Tamil Nadu's lawyers
argued for the Dam water level to be increased to 142 feet.
Vaiko, the firebrand politician of Tamil
Nadu enters the fray of Mullaperiyar's renewed dsipute:
Vaiko is one the most firebrand leaders of Tamil Nadu.
Meeting the PM at his residence, he said that Kerala was creating
panic and there was nothing wrong with the Dam.
Sreelatha Menon: Quite a dam-age - Business Standard
SC panel on Mullaperiyar meets - Deccan Chronicle
Prevent Kerala from building new Mullaperiyar dam: Vaiko to PM -
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 04, 2011:
Mullaperiyar dispute is about Kerala's
Article argues that as a sovereign state owner of Mullaperiyar Dam,
Kerala can kick out Tamil Nadu. The question is why can't we cancel
the lease agreement which is clearly one sided? Tamil Nadu has the
control of the Dam, it gets the water, it makes electricity
and it pays pennies for the great catch.
Jayalalitha writes to Prime Minister on
Mullaperiyar Dam security:
Jayalalitha, the Tamil Nadu CM is asking for CISF security for he
Mullaperiyar Dam while millions of people in Kerala are living in
mortal fears. Tamil Nadu is giving no consideration to Keralites
plight with Mullaperiyar Dam is very evident from the position Tamil
Nadu Govt. has been taking on this issue.
India's integrity is being questioned by
events like interstate Mullaperiyar Dam dispute:
explains that India's Unity in Diversity is a farce and a
problem that must be considered a national problem is not being
taken that way. People are thinking on the basis of narrow regional
interests. While Tamil Nadu has used Kerala's river water for more
than 100 years for an unimaginably low rate, when Keralites have a
problem, a mortal fear about the safety of the very Dam that
provided water to Tamil Nadu all these years, Tamil Nadu does not
seem to be concerned.
Kerala is only asking for Mullaperiyar Dam to be decommissioned and
never stated a condition that water will not be provided to Tamil
Nadu. They have clearly stated that the water will continue to flow
into Tamil Nadu even after the new Dam is commissioned.
Let me quote from the article below.
"Whenever a terror attack or security breach happens in our country,
we point fingers at our neighbouring country. But here is a problem
that can take the lives of so many innocent Indians, which can be
stopped. And what exactly is our political leadership in this
country doing? Nothing."
An in-depth technical and analytical story
on Mullaperiyar Dam issue:
This is a blog article I discovered today which delves in depth into
the results of various studies conducted by different agencies on
the Mullaperiyar Dam. James Wilson is Assistant Executive Engineer
(Civil), Kerala State Electricity Board. Presently working as a
member of the Mullaperiyar Special Cell, Government of Kerala on
deputation according to the blog. He is associated with Mullaperiyar
case since year 2006. The main focus of the article is the details
on the seismic threat we are all fearing for the Mullaperiyar Dam.
Mullaperiyar: It’s not about safety, but Kerala's sovereignty - DailyBhaskar.com
Jayalalithaa writes to PM on Mullaperiyar dam security - NDTV
Mullaperiyar dam: An unimaginable disaster waiting to happen
Mullaperiyar - In search of truth - jamewills.blogspot.com
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 03, 2011:
Advocate General of Kerala confuses and
complicates Kerala's legal position:
Advocate General of Kerala,
does not look like living in that state. He gave a statement in High
court yesterday that the Mullaperiyar Dam is safe and even if it brakes, water
will be held safe by the down stream Dams of Idukki, Kulamavu,
and Cheruthoni. This stand is exact opposite of what people of
Kerala and the Govt. is saying. From where in the world, he got this
idea is unclear. But it is definitely not the Govt's pronounced
stand. KP Dandapni's statement in state High Court is in sharp
contract to three decade old stance of the Kerala Government.
Accusation is that he is Tamil Nadu state's agent and his wife
appeared in Court over the same issue representing Tamil Nadu.
Mullaperiyar dam: Kerala leader
Chandy meets PM Singh:
Global media has also started
reporting the Mullaperiyar Dam issue with a BBC report yesterday -
Dam issue: Programmer develops warning system:
situation warrants efforts such as this as the fear is increasing
each passing day of a Mullaperiyar Dam break. Govt. of Kerala has also asked for
a Dam break analysis by Roorkee IIT - report to be submitted within
Tamil Nadu fully aware of danger to Mullaperiyar dam:
Report says that the inspection carried out using a remotely
operated vehicle has found a
show a deep fracture
along the entire 1,200 ft length of the dam's foundation. Tamil
Nadu, in the past also seems to have not revealed everything they
know about the condition of the Mullaperiyar Dam through similar
Mullaperiyar: TN not to participate in talks:
Central Govt's efforts to mediate between Tamil Nadu and Kerala
seems to have faulted from the very beginning. Tamil Nadu Government
on Saturday said it will not attend the official-level informal
talks being convened by the Centre on Monday next. This has set back
the efforts to bring the urgency of the Mullaperiyar matter to Tamil
Nadu's attention in the very beginning of a renewed process.
Centre will be blamed if Mullaperiyar dam COLLAPSES: Kerala:
Rightly, minister PJ Joseph of Kerala is holding the
centre responsible if something happens to Mullaperiyar Dam. Though
it will not bring people back to life and the catastrophe undone
even if someone takes responsibility, this statement makes things
clear to the central Govt. who can not be a mute spectator to a
Mullaperiyar safe: Kerala AG - DNA
Mullaperiyar dam: Kerala leader
Chandy meets PM Singh - BBC News
Dam issue: Programmer develops warning system - IBN Live
Tamil Nadu fully aware of danger to Mullaperiyar dam - Times of
Mullaperiyar: TN not to participate in talks - The Hindu
Centre will be blamed if Mullaperiyar dam COLLAPSES: Kerala -
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 02, 2011:
Mullaperiyar dam: Children in Vallakadavu traumatised:
Children go to school with rubber tubes so that they can cling to
safety and stay afloat if the Dam broke. Such is the panic among
children in the area reports NDTV. They don't sleep well and
sometimes wake up suddenly asking whether the Dam has burst. With
Tamil Nadu and Kerala
arguing fervently with each other, each passing day, people of
Kerala and especially the ones living near the Mullaperiyar Dam is getting more
anxious. Some villages will wash away in seven minutes if the Dam
brakes. The possibility is real when you consider the Dam which is
Lime and Surki built is more than 100 years old.
Letter from Jayalalithaa to Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy:
In this letter, Jayalalitha is referring to the courts
pronouncements in the past, the fact that the Dam was strengthen by
Tamil Nadu and that makes it as good as new, etc. She also says that
the tremors were few and does not warrant any attention because
tremors were not very close to the Dam. She advises Chief Minister
Oommen Chandy of Kerala not to spread panic.
View: Why Mullaperiyar dam needs to be decommissioned URGENTLY!:
In the article appearing in Rediff.com, the writer argues
that the Mullaperiyar Dam should have been decommissioned long back.
“Kerala assembly has passed a dam safety act in 2006 that requires
it to decommission unsafe structures like the Mullaperiyar dam.”
However nothing has materialized. Assembly is planning to pass
another resolution now in year 2011. What use are these resolutions
if nothing can be achieved on the ground to allay the fears of
citizens? Article states that other countries do decommission Dam.
The United States is said to have decommissioned 1000th Dam in this
very year alone. Article says that the central water commission (CWC)
always takes a pro-dam stance and is against decommissioning the
Mullaperiyar Dam. Article argues that there is little expertise in
India in the issue of Dam safety. Incidentally, the Apex court
appointed committee is meeting on Dec 5, 2011. Another point to note
is that Periyar Basin from which water flows into Mullaperiyar Dam,
is located entirely in Kerala and yet the water is given to Tamil Nadu. No
other states in India does this even if the water basin is in the
Mullaperiyar dam: Children in Vallakadavu traumatised - NDTV
Letter from Jayalalithaa to Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy
View: Why Mullaperiyar dam needs to be decommissioned URGENTLY!
Back to the top
Updated on Dec 01, 2011:
Chief Minister of Kerala Oommen Chandy writes to
Tamil Nadu chief minister to reduce the water level from 136.6 feet
that’s current to 120 feet.
Children discuss Mullaperiyar
This story talks about a discussion that was held among children and
what they feel about the Mullaperiyar Dam issue.
Solve Mullaperiyar issue amicably : Tamilians:
Lakhs of Tamilians live in Kerala and many
more Keralites are in Tamil Nadu. We must think if the two states
quarrel like this, how it will affect this population living in the
neighboring states. Merits of the arguments must be considered and
on the basis of which decisions must be taken. Govt. has to keep a
cool mind and find a solution and consider the urgency of the
matter. Peoples anxiety must be removed and all steps must be taken
to achieve that goal.
The Dams videshi builders rest
in peace here:
While the controversy over the Dam builds, Collin Westermann
Taylor 1894, Harry Scott Taylor 1891, Tom Roger King 1896...read the
inscriptions in a shrubbery cemetery by the Mullaperiyar Dam.
Contained within the pages of some forgotten history, these names
stand mute witness to the controversies now racking the dam.
Achuthanandan threatens to go on
Probably inspired by Anna Hazare,
Kerala’s opposition leader VS Achuthanandan is threatening to go on
indefinite hunger strike over the Mullaperiyar issue.
Tamil Nadu takes Kerala to court for 'creating panic:
They can’t go to court against the people of Kerala.
So they have gone against the Govt. of Kerala. This dispute is
taking on new proportions. How it will be resolved is an open
question. With both parties sticking to their guns, where it is
taking us is anybody’s guess.
Children discuss Mullaperiyar
issue – IBNLive
Solve Mullaperiyar issue amicably : Tamilians
- Times of India
The Dams videshi builders rest
in peace here – IBNLive
Achuthanandan threatens to go on
fast – IBN Live
Tamil Nadu takes Kerala to court for 'creating panic – NDTV
Back to the top
End of the main article.
THIS IS A SEPARATE STORY ABOUT THE
The legendary British engineer who built the
engineering marvel called Mullaperiyar Dam,
comes back to life and goes to
Mullaperiyar. What happens next is the focus of this separate story
at the bottom of the main article.
Sir, Why the Mullaperiyar was leased for an endless 999 years?
Engineer Colonel John Pennycuick, who is
revered by those who benefit from the Mullaperiyar Dam, the
legendary builder of Mullaperiyar Dam, comes back to life and goes
to Mullaperiyar. What happens next is the focus of this story.
He went to Mullaperiyar because he
remembered about a Dam that he built in spite of a lot of hardships
due to the landscape and thick forest surrounding the site. It is in
the year 2011 that the respected British engineer who built the
Mullaperiyar Dam was resurrected and went to the area where he built
the Mullaperiyar Dam.
He goes to the site where the Dam was
built and is stunned to see the Dam still standing there more than
110 years after he built it. He called a man in the nearby
‘Chappath’ and asks him some questions; Let us call the man on the
street as Jacob, a Keralite. Let us also assume Jacob can speak
What is this? Why is this Dam still
here? “Didn’t I stipulate that it must be decommissioned after 50
“Yes Sir” replied Jacob. I also don’t know
why. There is protest going on in Chappath near Mullaperiyar and
many other places in Idukki district of today’s Kerala state against
the Dam you built. Sir they are asking for decommissioning and
building of a new one.
Who is stopping from decommissioning
it? I am surprised that it is still standing here.
Sir, Tamil Nadu is running the Dam’s daily
affairs. The land around it and the Dam is in their control as you
might recall, a lease agreement for 999 years is in affect.
Are they expecting it will stand even
after 999 years? My God, it can collapse any moment.
Sir, Kerala Govt. has asked IIT Roorkee to
conduct Dam break analysis.
Fools! What’s the use of that? How
would it help to know how much water will rise where after the Dam
That will help us prepare the disaster
management team sir’. Also we can estimate the cost of the Dam
Guys you are Crazy! State Govt. has to
build a new one immediately. Why don’t they do that?
Sir’ Tamil Nadu is saying Dam is strong
and that they have strengthened it using concrete. But we believe
what they have done are cosmetic reinforcements. We are also worried
about Earthquakes. Some tremors of mild intensity have already
happened around the Dam site. Sir, In fact Tamil Nadu want to
increase the Dam height and make the water level at 142 feet and we
want to bring the water level in the Dam down to 120 feet for safety
and anxiety reduction. Sir, people of Kerala are scared to death
about the Dam you built. Our children are not sleeping in the night.
They are asking when the Dam will break and does not sleep well.
My God’ Earthquakes! What is going on
here? Who the hell is running the country?
Sir, our Chief Minister has gone to Delhi
to meet the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Chief of the
Congress party, Sonia Gandhi. Sir, we hope and believe that he will
come back with good news.
Why don’t you decommission the Dam
without waiting for anyone to permition?
How can we do that Sir? Dam is
administered by Tamil Nadu and we need their permission to do
Man you are crazy! I didn’t build this
dam for ever. Every Dam has a life. Mullaperiyar is not a forever
Dam. With the earthquakes and water levels so high for an old Dam
like this, it can break any time. By the way let me ask you, what is
Tamil Nadu doing with all the water and how much do you get for the
Sir, Tamil Nadu government has been paying to the
Kerala government for the past 50 years 2.5
lakhs as tax per year for the whole land and 7.5
lakhs per year as surcharge for the total amount of electricity
generated – that’s as per Wikipedia Sir. Else where in other Indian
states water is paid 1000 times more than that.
What would Tamil Nadu do if dam
brakes? Where will they get the water from?
That’s what. Sir, they say it is not going to
break for many more years. They are in no mood for a new Dam at
Do you think your prime minister or
court can find some solution?
I don’t think so sir.
Chances are less. Tamil Nadu has a history of water disputes
with all its neighbours. No politician or political party in Tamil
Nadu seems to be agreeing to a compromise on a ‘water dispute’.
Then what would the people of
Kerala do? I am telling you, Kerala is lucky Dam is still standing.
Whether or not it can stand for some more years, is a million dollar
question. From the safety angle it must be brought down immediately.
How are you going to do that if Prime Minister and Court fail to
make their verdicts in favour of decommissioning?
Sir, what do you suggest in such an event?
Officials from kerala are sometimes not even allowed in the area of
the Mullaperiyar Dam by Tamil Nadu. Indian Navy team who went to
analyze the Dam with under water robots were once sent back by Tamil
Don’t tell anyone that I told you!
because it is not right for me to suggest such a thing. What you can
do is, forcibly decommission it as any break in the Dam would do
larger damage than the problem of a forced decommissioning. Do it
fast and you can sleep well. Your children can stop crying. Do it
slowly, don’t blame me. I built it for a maximum of 50 years. I told
Sir, I wish we can talk to our Tamil brothers and
convince them though it may be hard. If nothing works, we will have
to think about what you suggested.
In Tamil Nadu there is a nuclear plant that has
come up in Koodankulam. Govt. of Tamil Nadu supported the people’s
agitation there about safety of the plant saying that a Tsunami
could strike the Tamil cost and endanger people’s lives. Look at
their double standards on Mullaperiyar Dam issue where Keralites are
left to worry for their lives in a much bigger likelihood of danger.
I have to go to the UK. I have to
see my great grand children.
Sir, let me ask you some more questions. How come
you British forced our little Kingdom before independence to a 999
Don’t ask me that question. I am
only an engineer, a Dam designer. However, I now feel that it was a
very wrong move. It was subjugation of the powerless little Kingdom.
We can’t blame you, British. Our own Kerala Govt.
renewed this lease agreement in 1970 with almost the same
provisions. The issue is one of water, one that concerns both
Why was this unfair agreement
signed by the Travancore kingdom, do you have any idea?
At the time of the agreement first signed in
1895, five districts of Tamil Nadu had no water for drinking and
irrigation. At that time the agreement looked fair in the larger
interest of the nation and the region. However, terms such as the
financial compensation could have been revised in the recent
re-agreement. In 1895, people depended on this project for drinking
water, irrigation for a very large area of land. The water from the
Mullaperiyar Dam completely changed the landscape of an otherwise
drought prone and famine prone region of state of erstwhile Madras.
What would happen to those who
enjoy the water of Mullaperiyar in Tamil Nadu if the tap is turned
Denial of availability of water from the
Mullaperiyar will be disastrous for the people and agriculture now.
On an afterthought I feel that the agreement should have stipulated
a life time for the Dam and it’s decommissioning after that period.
That would have been the best thing to do by those who sat down and
signed the agreement.
What is the opinion of your Chief
‘Water for TN and Safety for Kerala’ – that’s
what he says is the slogan of Kerala. Sir, But I am afraid if the
Dam brakes both wont be there. Tamil Nadu better know that they will
never get water again for sure, if the Dam brakes.
go to England and think of a solution.
now I don’t see a solution other than forcible decommission and
reconstruction, canceling the lease agreement unilaterally. Even if
there is a minor doubt about the safety of the Dam, the benefit of
that doubt should be in favour of safety of the people of Kerala.
Contractual rights of Tamil Nadu are not superior to the right to
life of the people of Kerala.
now, Jacob. I will pray for Keralites safety – that’s all I can say