Mullaperiyar is a dam built over river Periyar in Idukki, Kerala. Even though the dam is in Kerala it is operated by Tamil Nadu, on the basis of a baseless 999 year contract between the defunct governments of Madras Presidency and Tranvancore. It is baffling that even though both parties are not in power now, the agreement is still on. The water from the dam flows to river Vaigai in Tamil Nadu and is used for irrigation in four Tamil Nadu districts.
The dam was built in 1895 and was predicted to stand a period of 50 years from construction. One must credit the British for making the dam stand for more than double its life. But each day from now is like a dangerous dagger following to stab you from behind. It has been 116 years since the dam was constructed, and it should supply water to Tamil Nadu for another 883 years! Since Idukki is the most quake prone district in Kerala, the risk factor is much higher in the case of Mullaperiyar. Already there is enough number of cracks on the walls of the dam, and each day more and more new cracks surface on it.
Kerala has been demanding the construction of another dam on its own, and continuing with the agreement which instructs it to continue supplying water to Tamil Nadu. But Tamil Nadu has been opposing to the idea of rebuilding the dam or constructing a new dam for it may take years for its completion. It is true that water availability can cause serious problems in the four districts of Tamil Nadu, but it is even more serious to play with the lives of people in four districts of Kerala. It is the duty of the government of Kerala to ensure the safety of its people. It is predicted that a quake of intensity 4 on the Richter scale can break the dam and can inundate four Kerala districts completely causing one of the greatest disasters in history.
Incumbents of Kerala government are trying to get national attention to this case, by meeting the centre every now and then and pleading for the construction of a new dam. That brought no mercy and luck other than oral considerations. Tamil Nadu has been showing its insane face and has been busy falsifying facts and passing statements full of twisted explanations. Its political parties, leaders, and celebrities are standing strong to kill the innocent people of Kerala. But on the other side, despite the uproars from the common people, no party, politician, or celebrity is willing to take some action against this inhuman stand of Tamil Nadu. A one-line statement of a celebrity is more powerful than the loud cry of a common man. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened here. Our parties are now trying to cause more problems to our own people by conducting strikes and hartals in our districts. These morons must be turfed out first. They should show their virility to the hostile state and not to their own people!
Already Idukki faced a few quakes this month, and there are predictions of other quakes in the near future. Kerala must follow its own ways to curb the potential disaster by ignoring everything else, and concentrating only on the welfare of its people. I don’t believe in any democracy or law that have its eyes wilfully shut. Do it NOW and show the grit to fight the case LATER in the Supreme Court.