Updated on April 24, 2012:
Empowered committee on Mullaperiyar report to be submitted to court tomorrow:
Media is reporting that the Empowered Committee on Mullaperiyar will submit its report to the Supreme Court of India tomorrow. Indications are that the chances of building a new dam at Mullaperiyar is open now. While the report goes to the court tomorrow with recommendations by the committee on resolving the dispute, it is evident that the new dam is recommended.
On the basis of Kerala’s concern on dam safety, Kerala gets the new dam and Tamil Nadu gets a new tunnel for drawing the water- these are indications. However Kerala’s representative in the committee, justice KT Thomas declined to comment on the report.
Though the new dam proposal is mooted in the report, its control or the ownership of water has not been advised to be with Kerala as per the recommendations. A tunnel that can draw more water into Tamil Nadu has been an idea proposed in the report. However it is assumed that Kerala’s proposal to lower the water level to 120 feet has been rejected by the committee.
If there is no interest to build a new dam, the proposal has been given for strengthening the existing dam. Details of the proposal for the new tunnel is not yet available. The advice has been given such that the tunnel does not compromise on Kerala’s environmental and other geological aspects.
Justice KT Thomas declined to comment on major proposals. Justice said that to ensure the safety and security of people of Kerala of which i am also part of, everything has been done from my side. He expected that the proposals will give permanent solutions to Kerala’s worry about the Mullaperiyar dam.
Report also reiterates that when the new dam will be built, Tamil Nadu should not come out with any new proposal or requirements.
Updated on April 23, 2012:
Empowered committee gives Mullaperiyar report its final touches:
The Supreme Court appointed empowered committee on Mullaperiyar is giving the final touches to their report to be submitted to the court soon. The committee’s mandate is to look into the dispute in-depth and report back to the court on their findings and recommendations.
It is reported in the media that the report will be submitted to the court on Wednesday. “The report will be submitted to the Supreme Court on Wednesday,” justice K T Thomas who represented Kerala on the panel told the media over phone from New Delhi. “The panel members have taken an oath that they would not disclose anything on the content of the report. The SC has directed us that they (the judges) should not be informed anything on the report through media before they actually see the report. But I can assure you this is an exhaustive report. No other dam issue has been studied in so much detail,” justice Thomas said.
It is when the Supreme Court issues a final order after studying the report, the next developments on the Mullaperiyar dispute in the political front will be known. The 116 year old Dam has already witnessed a major controversy which erupted again sometime in December 2011 through a fervent pleading by the Kerala water resources minister PJ Joseph.
Kerala and Tamil Nadu, two states which are party to the dispute has taken opposite positions with regards to the dispute. While Kerala is insisting on a new dam complaining that the existing dam is too week, Tamil Nadu never endorses that position.
The committee was earlier planning to submit its report on February 29. However on that day, the committee only submitted a ‘status report’ to the Supreme Court saying that it would take another two months if it were to include the results of the dam core testing in the final report which Kerala demanded. This core test result’s inclusion in the report was demanded by Kerala as this would give better picture of the tensile strength of the dam. The five-member constitution bench of the Supreme Court headed by justice D K Jain then extended the term of the committee to April 30.
Updated on Feb 24, 2012:
Hon’ble Supreme Court empowered Mullaperiyar Committee cancels sitting:
Media is reporting that the empowered committee meeting on Mullaperiyar on Feb 26th stands cancelled. This is happening while there are also reports that efforts to extend its term by two months are on.
“The committee has already filed a status report in the Supreme Court drawing attention of the court to the Kerala government’s request to include the findings of the core testing in the report. I have received a message today about the cancellation of the meeting, and a revised date of the sitting has not been fixed,” empowered committee member Justice K T Thomas told Times of India in Kochi.
On Feb 29, committee’s term was to end. It is in spite of that situation they realised that they can not finish the report by then because the Kerala govt. requested tests on the dam would take another two months to finish.
Meanwhile water resources minister of Kerala commented that he is not in favor of extending the committee’s term. However he said that the the Kerala requested tests for finding out the the strength of material used for dam construction and that must be concluded. He also said that the only recourse before Kerala is get a court verdict that favours the new dam that Kerala is asking for.
Updated on Feb 19, 2012:
Mullaperiyar: CWPRS team creates cube from Surki mixture:
As part of the ongoing investigations on the Mullaperiyar dam by the Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court, a team led by Central Water Power Research Station (CWPRS) senior research officer V.T. Desai on Sunday supervised remaking of a cube from Surki material collected from the same area from where the material for constructing the Mullaperiyar dam was derived. While the report that the empowered committee was due to submit to the court by the end of February is delayed due to Kerala’s insistence of further tests at the dam site, the committee is trying to get a two month extension for its term from the court.
The test was being done to ascertain the strength of the Surki material used for the dam as per the direction of the Empowered Committee appointed by the Supreme Court. Media is reporting that plan is to send the cube for testing at the lab in Pune which belongs to the CWPRS. Later the test results are expected to be submitted to the empowered committee.
While the Mullaperiyar issue is stuck in a legal imbroglio, the issue has started to get less attention in the national and regional media. However the worst affected by the Mullaperiyar dispute are the local population who fears for the dams safety and are not even able to sell their land and go elsewhere .
Updated on Feb 11, 2012:
Facebook.com/mullaperiyar pleas for survival:
The popular facebook page titled above says that Tamil Nadu is sending hundreds of SPAM complaints about the page and if equal number of ‘likes are not produced, the page could be banned by the facebook. It is not clear how true this claim is. If it is true, it is a sad situation as the facebook page has been at the forefront of fight against the claims by Tamil Nadu that the dam is safe.
One post in facebook says ‘Jayalalitha now opposes installing of emergency warning system. Earlier she had opposed disaster management study!’ – true to what the writer says, situation is dismal.
There are media reports that says Jayalalitha has written to PM opposing the measures Govt. of Kerala has taken to measure the water level through sophisticated technology installed with centre’s help.
Facebook posting goes onto say “The center should dismiss Jayalalitha Govt. and arrest her for trying to put the lives of people in grave danger. She should be referred to the mental hospital”
Hon’ble Supreme appointed empowered panel report is to be produced in the court by the February end. Meanwhile Chief minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalitha on last Thursday strongly opposed the Kerala government’s move to install a “real time monitoring system for measuring the water build-up” in the dam.
The Kerala government move without “the consent of Tamil Nadu is a blatant violation of the Principle of Federalism and the Constitutional framework,” – Jayalalithaa protested in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday.
Funny postings seen in Facebook.com/mullaperiyar
Joseph D. Mampilly – Dec 5, 2012
“Committee finds that the present earthquakes have not caused the dam to break, suggestion is to wait for a higher magnitude to c if IIT Roorkee report is correct.
If DAM breaks then they will consider accepting the report.
Anyway Thatte (the technical member of the empowered committee of the Hon’ble Supreme Court) is a genius. He needed just to walk around the dam to come to his conclusion.”
Updated on Feb 04, 2012:
Mullaperiyar dispute : Demand for two Taluk’s of Kerala repeated by DMK
Reiterating his earlier stand that Kerala should ‘give two Taluks of Kerala to Tamil Nadu, Karunanidhi and DMK yesterday reiterated that stand on Mullaperiyar issue.
Reports are coming in on 3rd Feb that DMK raised the pitch on Mullaperiyar dam issue demanding that Kerala restore the area, where the reservoir is located, to Tamil Nadu.
This stand was taken by the General Council of the DMK which met in Chennai. DMK’s stand was earlier made clear in statements by the Supremeo K. Karunanidhi. It may be political posturing to appease the affected people of Tamil Nadu. However such posturing created problem for Kerala and delays any chance of the resolution of the vexed issue.
Matter is pending before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India which is waiting for the report of its empowered committee by the end of February.
Empowered committee which is headed by former CJI of India AS Anannd sent members for an on the spot inspection at dam site at the end of last year. Mullaperiyar agitation council has been protesting in its venue in Chappath near the dam for over five years now. No resolution to the issue is on sight. Centre made some efforts to bring together the warring parties of Kerala and Tamil Nadu but to no avail. Tamil Nadu refuses to even attend a meeting on the matter with Kerala.
Updated on Jan 30, 2012:
Governor says Tamil Nadu will not compromise on Mullaperiyar:
Raking up the Mullaperiyar issue in Tamil Nadu assembly, Governor K Rosaiah spoke about the dispute in his customary speech in assembly.
The speech blamed the centre and suggested that Kerala Govt. was unnecessarily making it a big issue and creating panic among people. The speech makes it clear that Tamil Nadu is not ready for any compromise on the issue. You may recall that they have not even come forward for a meeting between the state officials which centre tried to convene at least on two occasions in the end of last year.
While the Governor took pains to explain that that state wants cordial relations with the neighbours, the tone was clear. They are in no mood for any agreement on Kerala’s plan for a new dam at Mullaperiyar.
Governor of Tamil Nadu in its speech requested the centre to direct Kerala to abide by the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s directions.
Times of India is also reporting that the DMK is not planning to leave the ruling AIADMK at peace and plans to rake up various issues.
“The attempts on the part of Kerala to whip up mass fear and insecurity through false propaganda have been the primary cause of these (recent violent) incidents,” Governor K Rosaiah said in his customary address to the first session of the Tamil Nadu assembly this year.
“Tamil Nadu is all for ensuring the safety of the dam and I earnestly appeal to the people of Kerala not to succumb to such malicious campaign,” he said, outlining the government’s policies and priorities in his first address since becoming the governor.
Minister PJ Josephs Comments:
Minister PJ Joseph of Kerala water resources reacted to the Tamil Nadu Governors speech saying that he hopes Tamil Nadu will change their stand on Mullaperiyar. He reiterated that Kerala is saying only facts on the dispute of Mullaperiyar. He also added that he has no doubt about the ownership of the new dam that will be built in Kerala. His statement comes in the wake of Tamil Nadu Governors customary speech in assembly saying that Tamil Nadu will not relinquish the control of the Mullaperiyar dam.
KM Mani of Kerala comments on Mullaperiyar:
Minister KM Mani of Kerala who hold finance ministry in the state stated that the claims of Tamil Nadu on Mullaperiyar is not right. He said that the dam belongs to Kerala and no one will be allowed to question that fact. He continued that Tamil Nadu only has the lease of the land and the control of the dam through an agreement.
TN a victim of Centre’s indifference: TN Governor – Hindustan Times
Updated on Jan 28, 2012:
Mullaperiyar: Survey of India inspection team had to wait for the boat:
The team which came to the Mullaperiyar dam site for inspection on request from Kerala Govt. had to wait for an hour because official boat was not available. The team came to study which areas will be submerged if the water level crosses 136 feet. Survey of India Thiruvananthapuram center director Sanjeev Kumar and team were the ones made to wait due to lack of the boat.
The team which arrived at the Thekkadi boat landing centre for touring the Mullaperiyar dam region at around 10.30 in the morning were not provided a boat by the water resources ministry. The forest department who also has a boat explained that only on Wednesday they were informed that the inspection is on Saturday and that’s why a boat could not be made ready.
One hour later the team went for inspection after the boat became available.
Updated on Jan 26, 2012:
Empowered Committee could not have consensus on final report – meeting again on Feb 15:
The Hon’ble Supreme Court appointed Empowered Committee indicated on Tuesday in New Delhi that it would submit a report on the Mullaperiyar dam to the court in February third week. Reportedly the committee discussed various strengthening measures and technical reports on the measures in New Delhi in a two day meeting.
The fate of the disputed Mullaperiyar dam will be decided by the Hon’ble Supreme Court on the basis of the report from the empowered panel headed by former Chief Justice of India A S Anand. The empowered committee concluded their two day discussions on Wednesday. They have decided to meet again on February 15. Committee is formed with five members and include representatives of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Mullaperiyar issue has at least temporarily affected the relations between Kerala and Tamil Nadu when it flared up in December last year with a fervent appeal from Kerala minister for water resources, PJ Joseph in a press conference coinciding with the release of controversial film Dam 999 by Sohan Roy.
“We could not complete the report after the two-day session and sitting for another day was causing inconvenience for members. Therefore, we decided to meet again on February 15,” Kerala representative in the panel, K T Thomas, told the media. “As the committee’s term ends on February 29, we want to complete the final report and submit to the Supreme Court before that,” he said. The committee has assigned each member “a certain task” for the final preparation of the report. “The final report will be unanimous,” Thomas said.
Technical members of the committee are former chairperson of the Central Water Commission, C K Thatte, and a former engineer of the Central Public Works department, D K Mehta. They recently visited the Mullaperiyar dam site and were complained against by Kerala for their non attention to Kerala officials who accompanied them.
Kerala for talks to end Mullaperiyar dam row:
As part of the republic day speech on Thursday, 26th Jan 2012, Chief minister Oommen Chandy of Kerala said that Kerala is confident that the Mullaperiyar dispute can be resolved through talks. Chandy repeated his now famous slogan of ‘safety for Kerala and water for Tamil Nadu’ with regards to the dam dispute.
Panel on Mullaperiyar to submit report to court by the third week of February – The Hindu
Will protect Mullaperiyar dam: Kerala – Asian Age
Updated on Jan 24, 2012:
Mullaperiyar : news flow again retreating:
There has been an apparent lull in any major news item on Mullaperiyar off late. However there are some small story’s that’s still flowing. One of the item is that the controversial Subramiayam Swamy is asking for an out-of-court settlement to the issue. This is an apparent climb down from the pronounced Tamil Nadu stand where they are expecting that the court decision will favour them.
Inaugurating the concluding meet of the state conference of ABVP in Kannur on Sunday, Subramanian Swamy said that the chief ministers of the both the states should sit together and find a settlement to the issue. I think he makes a lot of sense when he say this. But how are they going to sit together when even the Prime Ministers call to Tamil Nadu for officials meeting has not yet been accepted.
Another interesting news that is coming out from Kerala is that minister PJ Joseph had a quarrel with congress MP Kodikunnil Suresh who said that the proposal Joseph supported for a canal construction would become another Mullaperiyar. Ministers connection and interest in the Mullaperiyar issue is well known. He shouted at Kodikunnil and asked what he knew about Mullaperiyar.
Joseph’s ill-tempered words soon saw Congress workers jumping to their feet who surrounded the minister shouting and screaming. But for the presence of police, the verbal duel would’ve deteriorated. The police who was present at the meeting rescued the minister from the scene and moved him to a safer place.
In another development in the Mullaperiyar dispute, the former Chairman of the Mullaperiyar Agitation Council CP Roy submitted a proposal to Justice KT Thomas (retd) who is member of the empowered committee of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Speaking to the media, later CP Roy said that his earlier proposal to dig a tunnel much below the current tunnel that takes water to Tamil Nadu is what he suggested to the member. The present tunnel is at 104 ft height.
Dam row: Swamy for out-of-court settlement – IBN Live
Mullaperiyar row: Joseph escapes unhurt in scuffle – Deccan Chronicle
C P Roy submits proposals on Mullaperiyar to Justice K T Thomas – The Hindu
Updated on Jan 21, 2012:
Dam 999; Sohan Roy – anticipating the Oscar:
Gulf News is carrying an Interview with Naval architect Sohan Roy whose debut movie DAM999 has been shortlisted with nominations for three Oscars. Dam 999 has created much a controversy in the face of Mullaperiyar dam dispute between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The film Dam 999 has been also shortlisted for the coveted best picture category. Sohan Roy speaks to Suchitra Bajpal Chaudhary of Gulf News about his passion for film. The Interview is linked below.
Although Sohan Roy says the film is not about the Mullaperiyar dam, there are obvious references in the movie which made Tamil Nadu ban the film in that state. Currently, Sohan Roy is in a legal battle with the Tamil Nadu state over the ban of the movie.
“I’m thrilled that my movie has made it in the preliminary rounds. It’s beyond the imagination of any debut director,” the proud 45-year-old says.
Dam 999 : Waiting for Oscars – Gulf News; Interview with Sohan Roy, director of Dam 999.
Updated on Jan 20, 2012:
Mullaperiyar : Hartal was a failure:
With just two districts responding the Hartal call and one partially, a call by Mullaperiyar Agitation Council for a state wide Hartal was a dismal failure.
Kerala is infamously known for Hartals which were known as Bandhs before. For every small issue, Kerala’s political outfits are known for calling Hartals which disrupt peoples lives very frequently. But when it came to an issue of such importance as Mullaperiyar where political parties themselves are portraying it to be a great problem that will affect in mass deaths across five districts of Kerala, the state was not at all united when it came to a call responding through a Hartal. Not that the Hartal is something that helped resolve any issues in the past but see the paradox.
There is a posting in the facebook.com/mullaperiyar that says let us give two Taluks of Idukii district to Tamil Nadu as their leader Karunanidhi recently demanded. “We cant even come together for a Hartal”, the post says. “We do not have the political will even for a Hartal”. Post continues, “otherwise let us give the whole Idukki district to them so that we do not need to produce any electricity from Idukki dam and we can start power cuts, charge increases, channel discussions etc”.
Retain Mullai Periyaru Dam and save millions of farmers and wildlife.
As a proof that efforts are continuing on the Mullaperiyar issue from Tamil Nadu side but on a different direction, they are asking people to sign up for a petition over the Internet.
it is requested that everyone sign the petition to highlight the gravity of the Mullaperiyar dam dispute. The link is in the ‘further reading’ section below.
Mullaperiyar dispute : Jayaram Ramesh blamed religions organisations.
In a meeting in Delhi, minister Jayaram Ramesh blames religious organisations for taking positions on matters of public debate and issues. He said that if the opinion is that dams and nuclear plants are not needed, how is the country ever going to progress?
Retain Mullai Periyaru Dam and save millions of farmers and wildlife – Change.org
Updated on Jan 19, 2012:
Mullaperiyar Dispute : Hartal is partial in Kerala:
Yesterdays Hartal called by the Mullaperiyar Samara Samithy was partial in Kottayam and total in Idukki district.
Hartal is traditionally the most lethal weapon used by the political parties of Kerala in any protest. The fact that the Hartal did not evoke state wide response make one think that the political support for the Mullaperiyar Samara Samithy based out of Chappath near Mullaperiyar is not strong at all. However they can rejoice in whatever support they received from those districts which participated in the Hartal. Hindu is reporting that in the tourism centres of Munnar and Thekkady, many of the tourists had to remain indoors as most of the markets, hotels, and eateries were closed.
As Sabarimala pilgrimage is going on, lot of pilgrims vehicles from Kerala crossed into Tamil Nadu. However vehicles carrying pilgrims from Tamil Nadu to Kerala was minimum at the Kumily, Cumbom Mettu, and Bodi Mettu checkposts. It is also reported that in Kattappana, the Hartal was total and peaceful.
At Karimkulam Chappath, protests are said to have taken place as part of the Hartal.
Updated on Jan 18, 2012:
The Mullaperiyar Agitation Council announced Hartal Started:
The Hartal declared by the council asking for the earnest involvement of state and central Govt.’s on Mullaperiyar dispute has commenced on this Wednesday.
However, only in Idukki district the life has been affected. Because of the School Youth Festival, Thrissur town area has been exempted from the Hartal. Media is reporting that In Idukki, shops and business establishments remain closed. Only a few private buses and private vehicles are on the road. BJP and LDF is supporting the Hartal in Idukki district. Kerala Congress has offered moral support also.
In other districts, Hartal has not evoked a major response. In Trivandrum, private vehicles are plenty on the road. Autorikshas and Taxis are plying. In central Kerala also, Hartal has no affect.
Mullaperiyar Agitation Council has been striking for a new dam at Mullaperiyar for over 5 years now. However they haven’t moved an inch towards a resolution on the dispute. After minister PJ Joseph made a heart wrenching plea on live telecasted press conference and at the same time when banning of the movie dam 999 happened in Tamil Nadu, issue had a new thrust across the state.
However, it is true that no remarkable change has happened from the position that was five years before with regards to the Mullaperiyar dispute. Tamil Nadu still says there is no need for a new dam and still refuses to speak to Kerala directly even after PM’s intervention.
Hartal total in Idukki, partial in Kottayam – The Hindu
Updated on Jan 17, 2012:
Hartal is coming – A first on the Mullaperiyar dispute:
Kerala is no stranger to Hartals. For rain and no rain Hartals are called in Kerala. But it is the first time an interstate dispute and a vexed issue such as Mullaperiyar is being called as reason for announcing a Hartal. Announcement comes straight from the Mullaperiyar agitation council that’s protesting on the issue for more than five years in Chappath near Mullaperiyar dam.
Announcing the Kerala Hartal on Wednesday in Idukki, the Mullaperiyar Samrakshna Samiti leaders claimed that various political parties, their feeder organisations and several social outfits in Idukki district have extended their support to the protest. Hartal is between 6 AM and 6 PM on Wednesday. Kerala congress M, CPM, CPI etc announced their support for the Hartal.
Mullaperiyar row: state-wide Hartal Wednesday – Manorma Online
Updated on Jan 16, 2012:
Mullaperiyar Agitation Council declares Hartal on Wednesday:
Kerala congress M (Mani group) has decided to give moral support to the Hartal as the time period of their interim stop to the Mullaperiyar protests are over. The decision was made by the political affairs committees meeting of the Kerala Congress Mani group presided over by Jose K Mani held in Kottayam. Party officials have said that because the PM’s intervention did not help the situation, they have decided to resume the protests as previously committed.
It may be recalled the the PM asked for one month time to resolve the issue which is over by now.
Union minister Aswini Kumar says that Mullaperiyar Dam is safe:
Not helping Kerala’s claim for a new dam and concerns of Kerala in the event of frequently repeating tremors in the region around Mullaperiyar dam, the minister of state for science and technology and earth sciences, Mr. Ashwini Kumar, on Sunday said that the controversial Mullaperiyar dam was ‘safe’ and all steps were being taken to ensure its ‘fullest and most comprehensive security’.
This is a case in which the union minister is supporting the arguments of Tamil Nadu. He has taken this position by citing the findings of the technical team of the empowered committee that the dam is not weak. Mullaperiyar dispute is in the consideration of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. CD Thatte and DK Mehta are the technical team members who studied the condition of the Mullaperiyar dam.
The position taken by the minister Aswini Kumar weakens Kerala’s argument that the new dam is needed in Mullaperiyar. It is in the background of repeated earthquakes that Kerala asked for a new dam to be constructed and put pressure on the central Govt. Chief minister Oommen Chandy and all political parties delegation separately met with the PM on the Mullaperiyar issue. However PM’s efforts to convene meeting of the officials of both states didn’t work out due to non cooperation from Tamil Nadu.
Earlier central home minister P. Chidambaram also came out against building a new dam at Mullaperiyar.
Protesting Aswini Kumar’s statement against Kerala’s interests, water resources minister PJ Joseph said that ministers statement was an irresponsible one. He also said that on a dispute that is before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, minister shouldn’t have made such comments. He asked for the intervention be defense minister Antony.
Mullaperiyar dam is safe, says Union minister – Deccan Chronicle
Updated on Jan 15, 2012:
Mullaperiyar: draft report of dam break is ready:
Manorama is reporting that the dam break study’s draft report constituted to find out how much damage a Mullaperiyar dam break will effect, has been readied by the team from Roorkee IIT. Report has been submitted to the Kerala state Govt. who asked for such a study.
Manorama report also says that the first draft carries the technical details. The factual errors in the report will be corrected through discussions. The final report will be ready in four months’ time.
From taking a precautionary principle based rebuilding of the Mullaperiyar dam, we are now at a situation where we are trying to find out how many will be killed in case the dam breaks. What a pity? Two states within in India that too neighbours with so much in common can not find a common ground and resolve the matter between themselves. Leaders of the neighbouring state has previously asked the Idukki district and is now asking for two Taluks from Idukki which district has the disputed Mullaperiyar dam.
You might recall that the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu didn’t even allow an NDMA (National Disaster Response Management) team to be setup in the wake of the Mullaperiyar situation. Hence the utility of any dam break analysis is in question because valuable little can be achieved if the report says millions will be immediately slaughtered if a dam catastrophe strikes as feared.
Mullaperiyar: draft report of dam break study submitted – Manorama Online
Updated on Jan 14, 2012:
Mullaperiyar : Political developments in Kerala fading the dispute:
Likely due to the case registered against VS Achuthanandan, the opposition leader of Kerala and lull in other developments, news flow has come down on the dispute. Even face book writers have gone to something more interesting.
Karunanidhi’s assertion that two Taluks of Idukki district must come to Tamil Nadu has not been met with any rhetoric from Kerala side.
Archaeologist C.Vijayakumar who is a researcher bets on oneness between two states and people:
Meanwhile an interesting, unique article is appearing in Deccan Chronicle written by By T.S. Sreenivasa Raghavan.
Article says that Tamil Nadu and Kerala may be divided on Mullaperiyar dispute. However, they still retain the grains of a common past. That’s the message that archaeologist C.Vijayakumar gets from the 1000 BC rock art recently discovered at the troubled border.
The story says that even though trouble is brewing between the two states, not far from the disputed Mullaperiyar dam, in the deep jungles bordering the two States, human history remains frozen on the walls of a magnificent cave. When you go back in history, to 1000 BC, when of-course there was no Tamil Nadu and Kerala, when the dam and dam dispute did not exist, that’s what archaeologist C. Vijayakumar, who stumbled upon some stunning paintings on the walls of an extra-ordinary cave, in the jungle where wild animals including black panthers thrive, would like to insist.
The paintings from the distant eons of time depict humans, animals, sun and nature.
“When you meditate on those paintings, what you ultimately get is the universal message of oneness and the unbreakable bond that welded together diverse forces which peacefully co-existed”, Vijayakumar told Deccan Chronicle. read the full story which is linked below.
Together once, divided Now – Deccan Chronicle
Updated on Jan 13, 2012:
Give two Taluks of Kerala : Karnunanidhi.
Repercussions of DMK’s Karunanidhi made statement has not withered even after two days. Media is still reporting on the statement he made two days before. Previously if calls were to make Idukki district part of Tamil Nadu now that has been replace by this new call. While in Kerala there are new political developments with opposition leader VS Achuthanandan on the dock for his alleged involvement in allotting land to known person, Mullaperiyar issue is still simmering in both states. Over the last weeks, entries on facebook page facebook.com/mullaperiyar has become less frequent.
Digital Earthquake monitor installed in Mullaperiyar
Deepika is reporting that a digital earthquake measuring meter has been installed in Mullaperiyar. This has been done on instructions from CD Thatte who is part of the technical team of the Supreme Court empowered committee. Geological survey officials from Kolkata installed the meter. There are other reports which says the equipment is installed by Tamil Nadu even without informing Kerala police or officials. Reports also say that though Kerala Govt. has been announcing for years that the monitoring device will be installed, they never did it.
Redraw states to end Mullaperiyar dam row: DMK chief M Karunanidhi – Economic Times
Tamil Nadu installed earthquake monitor – Kerala didn’t know. (Malayalam report) – Marunadan Malayalee
Updated on Jan 12, 2012:
Mullaperiyar : Down stream people denied constitutional right ot life:
Stressing on the constitutional right of peoples right to life, former acting Chief Justice, Narayana Kurup said in a meeting at Vaikom in Kerala that down stream people of Mullaperiyar dam are being denied that right.
Another development today is that Tamil Nadu’s DMK supremo M. Karunanidhi is staking claim for Peerumedu and Devikulam Taluk’s to be joined to Tamil Nadu. This is an outrageous claim as far as Kerala is concerned. Even if for the sake of the story, this is agreed upon, the threat to Kerala from Mullaperiyar remains.
Downstream people denied of constitutional rights, says Narayana Kurup – The Hindu
Karunanidhi rakes up 5-decade old demand on Mullaperiyar – The Hindu
Updated on Jan 11, 2012:
Ochouseph Chittilappilly gives Rs 5.5cr to bolster Mullaperiyar dam:
MD of V-Guard industries has come out with an idea of strengthening the existing Mullaperiyar dam through new technology and innovation. He said that he was concerned about the environmental impact of a new dam and the fact that it will take many years and corers of rupees.
As per the plan, grouted nail anchors (passive tension anchors) fitted downstream will take care of earthquake forces.
“Further, nail anchors are recommended on the side rock/hills. Nailing can be given at a spacing of two and a half meter with an anchoring depth of minimum 6 meter to hard rock,” it says.
Plan to link rivers gathers dust in PM office:
It may be noted that former president APJ Abdul Kalam suggested inter linking of rivers to solve the Mullaperiyar dispute. However, a report appearing the media, linked below, says that a proposal for inter linking of rivers of India is gathering dust in Prime Ministers office. The report says many disputes such as Mullaperiyar involving water could be resolved through the inter linking of rivers.
“These and many other similar disputes involving a number of states could be solved by the Union government by interlinking the country’s major rivers,” Suresh Prabhu, former chairman of the Task Force on interlinking rivers told the media.
Plan to link the rivers Brahmaputra, Ganges, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery and Vaigi was submitted to the PMO (Prime Ministers Office) in 2004.
Interlinking of rivers has been however a controversial subject with opinion expressed for and against the idea by experts.
Gone with NDA! Plan to link rivers gathers dust in PM office – DNA India
Kochouseph Chittilappilly gives Rs 5.5cr to bolster Mullaperiyar dam – Asianage
Updated on Jan 10, 2012:
Oommen Chandy meets Pawan Kumar Bansal:
Chief Minister of Kerala, Oommen Chandy has met with central water resources minister Pawn Kumar Bansal today to learn the progress of centre’s efforts on Mullaperiyar issue. After the meeting, Chief minister explained that the latest developments have been updated to him. He later told the journalists that Kerala is ready to talk to Tamil Nadu Chief minister anytime but the response from Tamil Nadu is not at all encouraging.
In another development, Kerala High Court has expressed satisfaction with the arrangements for security in case of a disaster. Court said that nothing much can be said at the moment as the matter is before the Supreme Court.
Protest against Malayala Manorama stall – The Hindu
Mullaperiyar: DMK mocks Jaya’s memorial decision – India Today
Mullaperiyar: Kerala for out of court resolution – Hindustan Times
Updated on Jan 09, 2012:
New dam – specifications and plans:
Hindu is publishing a story on the new dam and its features. New dam proposed by Kerala is reported slightly taller than the old dam. Full Reservoir Level (FRL) is told to be fixed at 136 feet. The report says that if Tamil Nadu agrees to construction of new dam, differences could still arise over the FRL level.
River Linking proposed by APJ Abdul Kamalm:
Respected former president Abdul Kalam came out again supporting the river linking project saying that Tamil Nadu’s difficulties with the water will be resolved with the successful inter linking of its rivers.
“If Tamil Nadu, under a long-term perspective plan linked all the major rivers flowing within the State including Cauvery and Tamiraparani, and create a state water grid, its dependency on neighbouring states for water will come down drastically,” Kalam said at a huge open gathering in Chennai.
Updated on Jan 08, 2012:
New dam will be constructed after Tamil Nadu’s consent: Oommen Chandy:
Chief Minister of Kerala said that Kerala can proceed with construction of a new dam after getting the necessary clearances from the central agencies and ministry’s. However, they are waiting for the consent of Tamil Nadu as the relation between the two states is important to Kerala.
In a new article appearing in TOI, Chief minister Minister Oommen Chandy of Kerala is revealing some interesting aspects of the Kerala’s position on the Mullaperiyar dispute. He says while the new dam is constructed 1300 feet downstream, old dam will continue to function and serve water to Tamil Nadu. Decommissioning of the old dam will be done only after the new dam is fully ready to serve water. He also points out the the outlets for water to Tamil Nadu will remain the same as the present.
Memorandum to Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah calling for action on Mullaperiyar:
T. Shivaji Rao, Director, Centre for Environmental Studies, GITAM University, Visakhapatnam, has sent a memorandum to Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah calling for action to prevent a man-made catastrophe from impending collapse of the Mullaperiyar dam.
He has written that if the dam collapsed, not only Kerala but also Tamil Nadu will suffer in equal proportion. He is reminding that the strong Koyna dam cracked in some parts in 1969 due to an earthquake of 6.5 magnitude and caused serious damage.
It may be noted that Chief minister Oommen Chandy has yesterday said that the new dam can be built in parallel while the old one is still functioning and provides water to Tamil Nadu. This is the best proposition and possibility we have before us to avert any disaster.
“Since Mullaperiyar dam is thus under-designed both from seismological and hydrological safety aspects this dam is inevitably bound to collapse irrespective of the pronouncements of the engineering experts who could not stop the collapse of more than 40 dam bursts in India including the masonry dams of Tigra in Madhya Pradesh, Kundali in Maharashtra, Chickhole in Karnataka and Kadhakwasla in Maharahstra.” – He writes.
Shivaji Rao writes that Tamil Nadu was failing to read the writing on the wall for want of dam safety studies and was indirectly promoting man-made catastrophe like the Bhopal disaster in spite of the forewarnings.
He want the whole nation to put pressure on the PM to resolve the Mullaperiyar dispute as soon as possible. He cites the example of Tehri and Sardar Sarovar Project and says the new dam can be built while the old one is still functioning.
The venerable New York Times writes on Mullaperiyar:
NYTimes has a God-like position among the news papers. Finally they have also written on Mullaperiyar. Linked below.
Article talks about water as a critical issue not only between Tamil Nadu and Kerala but across the world. Future wars between countries may be due to water it is told. Chinese and Pakistani positions on various water related disputes are cited as example. “If Tamil Nadu and Kerala, states had their own armies they might have been already at war by now over the waters of Mullaperiyar”
Article by T.P. Sreenivasan (The former ambassador is a Keralite) says that the historians believe the deed for 999 years for the dam signed by Travancore king more than 100 years before was due to the pressure from the powerful British Govt. which ruled Madras presidency then. The author touches upon the irony of the protest by Tamil Nadu on the brand new Koodankulam nuclear plant versus 116 year old week and ailing Mullaperiyar dam which they want to continue to exist.
You invite, I will come: Chandy to Jaya on dam talks – Time of India
Memorandum to TN Governor on Mullaperiyar – The Hindu
Jaya announces memorial for engineer who built Mullaperiyar – Hindustan Times
A War of Words Over Water – New York times
Updated on Jan 07, 2012:
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy meets with Tamil Journalists:
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy of Kerala met with the Tamil journalists to explain them the position of the Govt. of Kerala on the Mullaperiyar issue. He wanted the journalists to spread the right message in Tamil Nadu. He said that it is the pronounced stand of Govt. of Kerala to give water to Tamil Nadu from a new Mullaperiyar dam. First the journalists took the position that a new dam was not needed at Mullaperiyar. Later on when chief minister explained them the situation in Kerala, they accepted that both Chief ministers should meet to find an amicable solution.
Mullaperiyar: joint control for water regulation only – The Hindu
Kerala, Tamil Nadu take divergent stand on new Mullaperiyar dam – The Hindu
No part of Mullaperiyar catchment is in TN: CWRDM Director – The Hindu
Chandy backtracks on joint ownership, seeks TN assent on new dam – First Post
Updated on Jan 06, 2012:
Prof. C. P. Roy says new dam at Mullaperiyar will be a disaster:
Former chairman of Mullaperiyar Protection Council agitation based locally in Idukki spoke at a seminar organised by Kerala press club called ‘Concerns that Mullaperiyar raise’. He said that in an area where seismic activity is frequent a dam 1300 feet down stream can be dangerous. He is suggesting to build tunnels on each side of the dam, reduce water level, and strengthen the dam. Kerala has to change their position of ‘new dam’ to new deed and new tunnel. Those who oppose my position now will have to ultimately marry that position. He also said that the uncompromising position Tamil Nadu is taking is painful for the population of Kerala.
V. S. Achuthanandan says joint control will be protested:
Opposition leader of Kerala, V. S. Achuthanandan says that Govt. did not seek their opinion before announcing joint control for the proposed new dam at Mullaperiyar. Hence it is not acceptable to the opposition.
Confusion of new dam’s control in Kerala: Latest is Joint control ideas rejection:
Kerala CM has off late stated that a new dam that may be built in Mullaperiyar can be controlled by Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and central Govt. together. However the stand the state has taken today before the empowered committee of the Hon’ble Supreme Court does not comply with the position. In the stand taken before the committee, Kerala has not agreed to joint control.
Media reports say Kerala Govt. is going to write to the empowered committee of the Supreme Court saying that ownership and control of the Mullaperiyar’s proposed new dam will rest with Kerala itself.
Within in Kerala also, even some of the heavy weights within the ruling alliance does not agree with the idea of joint control of the new dam. Opposition leader VS Achuthanandan has already opposed to the idea.
Oommen Chandy changes stand on new dam’s joint control:
Chief minister Oommen Chandy of Kerala went back on his words to the media on joint control of the new dam that will be built in Mullaperiyar. He says he only mentioned about the regulation of the amount of water and not the dam itself. He categorically stated that the control of the new dam will remain with Kerala. He blamed the media for earlier reports that he stated and accepted joint control.
Joint control will be a big mistake:
K. S. Francis is reporting in Deepika that the joint control of a new Mullaperiyar dam earlier announced by the Kerala CM and later retracted by him will be a mistake if implemented.
Kerala which asked for complete control of any new dam earlier now taken a volte-face with this new idea of joint control. Who is behind the idea remains puzzling. He writes that a dam is not just the structure. It involves catchment area, source of water, water collected dam lake etc. If one makes the joint control, it is like joining Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts to Tamil Nadu. To do anything in the catchment area, to use the dam water for drinking etc, joint committee will have to agree. Catchment area of the Mullaperiyar is spread across these two districts. Another important point he raises is to supply all the dam water to Tamil Nadu means Tamil Nadu can dig a tunnel far below the current 104 feet and take all the water. This means the famous tourist centre called Thekkadi may not survive as the lake created by the Mullaperiyar dam will shrink. Same is the case with the idea mooted by CP Roy which said that a tunnel much below which takes water to Tamil Nadu could be dug. K. S. Francis is reporting that this idea will harm the Thekkadi lake.
It has been many times that Centre is giving weight to what Tamil Nadu wants over Karla’s concerns. Under that circumstance, joint control will finally become Tamil Nadu’s control. Another issue is that if a new dam is constructed down stream such a dam will have shed more acres of land than 8000 acres that is now in Tamil Nadu’s control as part of the now famous 999 years lease.
UDF has hidden agenda in Mullaperiyar row: Pinarayi – The Hindu
Mullaperiyar dam row: LDF resents joint control proposal – Economictimes
Kuttanad farmers worried over Mullaperiyar standoff – The Hindu
Updated on Jan 05, 2012:
Joint control idea mooted for Mullaperiyar:
Media is reporting that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy of Kerala has proposed the idea of joint control over a new dam that will be built in Mullaperiyar. Chief minister said that the Siruvani dam is being controlled in the same manner presently.
He also said that Kerala is not trying to take water from the new dam. Kerala is ready to give all the water in a new Mullaperiyar dam to Tamil Nadu. “This is being said sincerely” – he said. Kerala is not against giving water to Tamil Nadu and we are ready to say this anywhere in writing. It is for the temporarily solution that the water level at 120 feet idea has been mooted. This will help reduce peoples anxiety. “New dam is the only permanent solution. Kerala is ready to talk to Tamil Nadu at any level”.
Mullaperiyar: CMs final solutions – IBNLive.com
Joint management of new dam acceptable to State: Chandy – The Hindu
Updated on Jan 04, 2012:
No common ground yet on Mullaperiyar dispute:
It has been more than a month since this dispute was reinvigorated in the public domain. Kerala water resources minister PJ Joseph’s heart felt pleas for a new dam in a press conference combined with the release and banning of the film Dam 999 by Sohan Roy both of which happened almost simultaneously gave new life to the Mullaperiyar dispute which has been dormant for decades.
After more than a month into the new found vigor to the dispute, there is no common ground between the warring Tamil Nadu and Kerala. While Kerala vouch for a new dam, Tamil Nadu vehemently oppose the need for a new dam. While many proposals to find a common ground to the issue has been floated by third parties (Both state Govt’s have to stuck to their positions), unfortunately Tamil Nadu is not even ready to come for a discussion so far. That fact that at least three farmers have committed suicide in Tamil Nadu as a direct result of this dispute, highlights the seriousness of the human calamity due to this dispute and the need for a speedy resolution.
Chief minister suggests joint control; says new dam will be a reality soon.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy of Kerala suggested that Tamil Nadu and Kerala could jointly control the dam. He also ascertained that the whole water in the dam will belong to Tamil Nadu.
“A new dam is now under active consideration and this is the reward for the stand that all political parties and the people of our state took for a new dam,” Chandy told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.
He repeated his famous slogan that says “water for Tamil Nadu and safety for Kerala”. The slogan did not hold water till today with Tamil Nadu. Hopefully it will work in the future. However, it clearly looks like for Tamil Nadu the Mullaperiyar issue is as critical a problem as for Kerala for which it is a safety concern. While for Kerala lives are at stake, for Tamil Nadu, livelihoods are at stake. Suicide of three farmers in Tamil Nadu over the issue, shows how emotional is Mullaperiyar issue for them.
Tamil Film artists fasting:
Deepika is reporting that Tamil film artists are fasting today on the issue of Mullaperiyar. They have taken this position after Kerala film industry decided to support Kerala Govt. on the issue:
Siren testing today:
Media reports say that a siren installed in a colony near the Mullaperiyar dam will be tested today afternoon. This is meant to warn people in case of a disaster. The officials have announced that this is a testing and advised people not to panic.
Geological survey of India asked to report on the possibility of earth quakes:
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. Though the committee rejected Kerala’s request for reducing the water level to 120 feet yesterday, they have discussed the request for a new dam at Mullaperiyar for the first time. They have also decided to state their observations on this matter in the final report. Committee is again meeting on Jan 24, 25.
The committee will submit the report from the technical team who visited the dam to study the effects of the past earthquakes to the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Along with that, Kerala’s objections to that visit of the technical team of the empowered committee also will be submitted.
New Mullaperiyar Dam will be a reality: Chandy – ZeeNews
Updated on Jan 03, 2012:
Media reports say Kerala’s request has been rejected by empowered committee:
Kerala’s request for lowering Mullaperiyar dam’s water level has been rejected by the empowered committee of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The reason given by the committee is that the Supreme Court has ordered the status quo and the water level to be maintained at 136 feet.
The committee will meet again on January 24 and 25 to finalise its report and it will be submitted to the Supreme Court in February.
Kerala speaks of new dam:
Kerala is again talking of the new dam in deliberations at empowered committee and outside to the public. The outspoken State Minister of Water Resources P.J. Joseph opined that the rajas of Travancore made a serious blunder by signing the treaty with Madras presidency for 999 years.
Mullaperiyar row: Empowered Committee rejects Kerala’s demand – NDTV
Kerala again speaks of new Mullaperiyar dam – Deccan Chronicle
Concrete dam is ideal in Mullaperiyar: Joseph – The Hindu
Updated on Jan 02, 2012:
Petition to the empowered committee submitted:
Kerala news papers are reporting that the petition to the empowered committee on the poor response from their technical team during the inspection visit to the Mullaperiyar Dam has been submitted. The fact that the team did not allow Kerala chief engineer P. lathika to speak up has been pointed out in the petition. Overall the team that inspected the dam is said to have been behaved in a partisan manner and against the interests of Kerala, listening only to Tamil Nadu officials.
Hindu carries Interview with CP Roy:
Hindu newspaper is carrying a detailed interview conducted with CP Roy, the former chairman of Mullaperiyar agitation on his suggestion that water level in the dam could be reduced by digging a new tunnel much lower to the present one taking water to Tamil Nadu.
Death over Mullaperiyar rises to three:
According to media reports, death over Mullaperiyar in Tamil Nadu, mostly from suicides, have risen to three. this is catastrophic for a problem which can be mostly settled if two sides agree to talk to each other. It is unfortunate that Tamil Nadu is taking a hard line position that they are not ready to talk.
Mullaperiyar: C.P. Roy presents alternative proposal – The Hindu
Mullaperiyar row: Expert panel submits report to Empowered Committee today – NDTV
Death toll over Mullaperiyar dam issue rises to three – Times of India
Updated on Jan 01, 2012:
Kerala to approach Hon’ble Supreme Court’s empowered committee with complaints:
On the eve of the new year, news appearing in Kerala media says that, Kerala is going to Supreme court’s empowered committee to complain about the attitude of the empowered panels technical team members during their visit to Mullaperiyar.
Kerala has received legal advise to lodge their displeasure with the empowered committee. This advice has come from Harish salve who is Kerala’s counselor. Kerala will say to the empowered committee that both technical committee members who visited Kerala to inspect the dam did not follow the Hon’ble Supreme court’s instruction to be neutral in their observations.
116-year-old Mullaperiyar dam is as good as new – The Hindu
You may recall that Mullaperiyar Dam has around 136 feet of water as i write in Jan 2012. It is at the 100 feet of water level that a tunnel that takes water to Tamil Nadu is built by the British.
A proposal has been mooted by Mullaperiyar action council chairman C. P. Roy (Now removed from the position for mooting the idea) to study lowering this level of the tunnel to fifty feet of water level so that Tamil Nadu can draw enough water even if the water level is maintained at max 120 feet as Kerala is asking. Currently if that water level is maintained at 120 feet as requested by Kerala, once it reaches 100 feet, no more water can flow into Tamil Nadu.
A peaceful solution to the issue could be made possible by changing the present position of the tunnel connecting the reservoir to Tamil Nadu so that Tamil Nadu could draw more water from the existing dam while the fears of the people here were addressed. This proposal while allaying the fears of Keralites to an extent, will also satisfy those farmers of Tamil Nadu who depend upon Mullaperiyar water.
C. P. Roy in the letter written to Chief Minister Jayalalitha of Tamil Nadu and prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, said that the dead water storage in the dam could be reduced if the tunnel connecting the pen stock pipes to Tamil Nadu was shifted.
The above proposal was reportedly accepted by the main farmers’ organisation representing the five district of Tamil Nadu where the water from the dam is used for irrigation purposes. However, it may be noted that, Govt. of Kerala or its Chief Minister Oommen Chandy never deviated from their declared stand for ‘new dam’ at Mullaperiyar as a permanent solution to the dispute.
In one of the Malayalam channels, CR Neelakandan, a noted environmentalist responded to the issue saying that there is no political will in Kerala to build a new dam. The participant was also saying that a new dam, even if it is all set to be built, will take up to 10 years to complete. In the interim, this proposal to lower the tunnel level is recommended as an effective solution satisfying both Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Another point is that while doing a new tunnel will cost only a few Crore rupees, a new dam will cost hundreds of Crores of rupees and additionally cause severe damage to the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR).
C. P. Roy was speaking at a rally to mark fifth anniversary of Mullaperiyar stir by organised by the Mullaperiyar Action Council at Karinkulam Chappathu when he announced his new proposal. Mr. Roy appealed the administration not to allow them to observe the sixth anniversary of the stir.
Soon after he announced this new idea of new tunnel, he was removed from the post of Chairman of the Mullaperiyar Action Council as his new proposal was not accepted by the major section of the protestors. The details can be seen here: CP Roy Removed.
Reports of a letter to the PM from Mullaperiyar action council which has been protesting for 5 years has also appeared in a firstpost article is linked below.
“Instead of a new structure, the letter said, halving the height at which water is being diverted from the dam to Tamil Nadu will be sufficient to address the threats of safety to the old dam, the council said”. The firstpost article said that, in simple words, the proposal requests Tamil Nadu to store less water in Mullaperiyar and regularly divert more to the state. At present, Tamil Nadu draws water based on its needs.
On the political side, this proposal gives a reprieve for everyone. The states, centre, and people of both states to bank on. But the water resources minister of Kerala, PJ Jospeh who is bent on a new dam may be difficult to please. Regarding the earthquakes, new questions are being asked as to how a new dam is going to be safe from the quakes? and whether idukki dam which is said to be more close to the seismic area won’t be directly affected in the event of a quake?
Mullaperiyar: Is there now light at the end of the tunnel? – The First Post
(excellent article appearing in firstpost with analysis on the latest proposal for solution)
Rally to mark fifth anniversary of Mullaperiyar stir – The Hindu
Another angle of the Mullaperiyar dispute is the very question of the impact of big dams on the environment. On one hand while dams solve a lot of human sufferings and help develop the economy of a certain region, on the other hand, it is often achieved at the cost of affecting a lot of lives. Those of whom who lose their land to submergence. A new dam is also likely to widely affect the biodiversity of the region.
After the Mullaperiyar dam row, Prof Janakarajan along with Suhas Paranjape and A Latha, sent a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with suggestions on how to solve the problem on behalf of ‘For Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts in India’. In an interview with Rediff.com’s Shobha warrier, Professor opens his mind to the Mullaperiyar dispute and his opinion generally about dams.
He talks generally against big dams which will submerge a large area. He says deforestation will be the result of a new dam. He says that Western Ghats of Kerala by the side of which Mullaperiyar is located, has rich biodiversity. “It is a beauty and the lung space for a country like India and it has to be preserved not only for the present but for the future generation too.” Construction of new dam in the area will also affect the wild life of the area.
He says that there should be short term, medium term and long term plans. More Water has to be stored in Tamil Nadu and that must be planned.
He says both states take extreme positions. Such as Tamil Nadu saying water level has to be 142 feet and Kerala says a new dam is a must. He says that if both parties are going to stick to their extreme positions, there will be no solution.
He says that he is not an expert on earthquakes but the latest report by AS Ananad committee (empowered committee of the Supreme Court) says that the seismicity has not affected the dam. But he says he maintains that though it has not affected now, it could be affected tomorrow.
He says that though Tamil Nadu says dam is safe today that does not mean dam is safe tomorrow. There is a life for every structure.
He says he does not support interlinking of rivers and according to him that’s is not the solution to the Mullaperiyar issue. It is an idea fraught with a lot of problems of its own.
He says that Tamil Nadu and Kerala are interdependent. While Tamil Nadu send most of the vegetables, fruits and flowers to Kerala. Kerala depends on Tamil Nadu for the previously mentioned items. For Tamil Nadu Kerala Is a very important market. So it is interdependency not any particular parties dependency on another.
Culturally, many thousands of Tamilians go to Sabarimala similarly Keralites come to Palani and Madurai Meenakshi. Food habits and languages are almost same. They intermarry. It is a part of Dravidian culture.
That is why I say, the present conflict is not sustainable and not in the interests of both the states.
“I visited the Vandiperiyar and Kumili region. I could see that the people are in utter fear. Children even refuse to go to school during monsoon months fearing that they may lose their parents or that they be washed away when they are in school.” – he says.
He especially blames Kerala politicians for creating panic among people. He blames politicians generally for creating fear.
Dr S Janakarajan is a professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies who specialises in agrarian institutions, interlinked agrarian markets, water management, water conflicts, stakeholder analysis and multi-stakeholder dialogues, environment, urban and peri-urban issues, disaster management and livelihood resilience.
‘New dam is NOT an answer to Mullaperiyar row’ – Interview of Dr S Janakarajan by Shoba Warrier – Rediff
On Jan 11, 2012 – Deepika has been reporting that it is proven beyond doubt that Mullaperiyar dam is weak.
The media report comes in view of the tests being conducted on the Mullaperiyar dam as part of the order from the empowered committee of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India to ascertain the strength of the dam.
After drilling almost half way from top of the dam into the base, Surkhi mix used for construction of the dam more than a century before, has not been obtained in a good form. Because the Surkhi is missing in many places, the drilling machine sometimes goes through unhindered and suddenly. This makes it clear that the state of the dam is worse than previously assumed. The critical bore hole test to detect the strength of the dam is proving that the dam is weak. Test is being conducted on instructions from the Supreme Court empowered Committee assigned to investigate the condition of the dam and to find the facts of the claims by Kerala that the dam is weak.
Till yesterday evening 6 PM, 70 feet has been drilled to analyse the strength of the dam. While Surkhi must have been found in a non powder form, it has not been found in an intact non powder form even after so much drilling. Through the bore hole, it is powder and metal that is coming out.
Out of two machines, only one is operating now. In the name of lack of labour, Tamil Nadu has stopped the working of one machine. It is suspected that this is part of Tamil Nadu’s effort to delay the test and to make the results unsustainable.
It seems that over the years through the many leaks in the dam, Surkkhi mix has been completed lost. For the same reason Tamil Nadu has intensified their efforts to ensure that the test results don’t see the light of the day. The bore hole is being drilled at a diameter of 55 mm from the top to bottom of the dam to collect the Surkhi mix along the way. Sample of Surkhi must come out intact meaning it should not be in the powder form when obtained. Only then the mix can be send to lab for testing.
Dams weakness is being seen throughout the testing. Concrete capping done on the dam has been found intact. Capping is done to increase the weight of the dam to counterbalance the pressure of water on the dam.
Dam has been built by laying stones on both sides and by inserting the Surkhi mix. Surkhi is an artificial pozzolana made by powdering burnt bricks. In older times, in our old structures, a very special lime Surkhi was used, which was successful, but it needed very skilled and experienced people. It is being assumed that half burnt Sukhi has been used to build Mullaperiyar dam. To get good strength, Surkhi mix must have been heated to 1400 degrees while it has been burnt only till 400 degrees in the case of Muallaperiyar dam. Coal and wood has been used to burn the mix. According to experts, tonnes of Surkhi has been lost over the years from the dam. It is where the Surkhi mix has been lost big holes have developed.
Central water power research stations VT Desai, Delhi CSMRC, Nehure, Pankaj Sharma, Mullaperiyar cell Chairman MK Parameswaran Nair, water authority Chief engineer, P Lathika, were present yesterday at the dam site. Journalists were strictly not permitted.
In yet another statement that questions the very ownership of the region that surrounds Mullaperiyar and the dam, this time the senior DMK leader Karunanidhi is staking claim for Mullaperiyar and surroundings to be joined to Tamil Nadu.
“Kerala government is forcing us to press for retrieval of Devikulam and Peermedu which historically and geographically belonged to Tamils and Tamil Nadu,” DMK chief M. Karunanidhi said in a statement amidst the row over the Mullaperiyar Dam.
The outrageous claim by DMK supremo will not help cool down matters. Rather it will ignite it even more than it is now raging. The funny thing is for the sake of the story even if the dam goes to Tamil Nadu, Keralites will have to continue to live under fear because five districts of Kerala will continue to remain under threat.
Karunanidhi claimed that C N Annadurai way back in January, 1956 on the eve of harvest festival staked claim for the retrieval of Peermedu where the Mullaperiyar dam is located and Devikulam where the dams main catchment area is based.
He also said that it is due to an error that during British rule, these two Taluks were made part of Kerala. He requested state and central Govt. to at least rectify the error now by joining the Taluks back to Tamil Nadu.
You may recall that sometime back when the Mullaperiyar dispute intensified, there have been calls for joining the entire Idukki district with Tamil Nadu from within the district. These calls would not help the situation of distrust and hatred already prevailing between the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu over the Mullaperiyar dam dispute.
Make Mullaperiyar Dam part of Tamil Nadu: Karunanidhi – NDTV
Karunanidhi rakes up 5-decade old demand on Mullaperiyar – The Hindu
Reported Feb 16, 2012:
Media reports are coming in today that the Mullaperiyar issue’s empowered committee constituted by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India will ask for more time to submit the final report to the court. A decision on this regard will be taken by the committee in today’s meeting in New Delhi.
While legal tussles and political battles continue, Mullaperiyar dam remained a water bomb ready to threaten an embattled population in the immediate down stream of the dam. Things are not better further down stream as a dam break can be devastating for an estimated population of 5 million living in five districts of Kerala.
Tamil Nadu is in no mood of coming to a negotiating table with Kerala which insists that new dam is the only solution. While the bickering has been continuing for years, the population is living in constant fear of a 116 year old dam built with now obsolete technology and materials. The renowned British engineer who built it during British rule of India is long gone and the the workers are long gone. A century has passed by. By Gods grace, Mullaperiyar dam is still standing.
While people cry for help, Kerala Govt. is unable to move an inch except for reciting the slogan ‘water for Tamil Nadu and safety for Kerala’. The central Govt. often leans to Tamil Nadu than Kerala for obvious political influence that they wield in the Indian parliament. Jayalalitha being firebrand like Mamatha of Kolkatta, central Govt. can not make any move that does not appease them.
In India, Govt. affairs often move at a snail pace. Sometimes there is a reason for that. A dam safety Authority in India responsible and accountable for the safety of Indian dams has been an ideal solution for the present situation with the Mullaperiyar dam. An authority that’s beyond Govt. control like the election commission who decide which dam will stay which dam will go. However, this bill is blocked in parliament thanks to regional parties such as the corrupt DMK.
Mullaperiyar: Dam panel seeks more time – Deccan Chronicle.