Mullaperiyar: Kerala ex-CM Achuthanandan joins protest

Written by: Ria
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Mullaperiyar Dam
Chennai, Dec 7: Former Chief Minister of Kerala, VS Achuthanandan on Wednesday joined the protestors on a one-day fast at the Mullaperiyar dam in Idukki.

Meanwhile, Vaiko, Chief of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) party will go on a yatra in Chennai to protest Kerala's demand for a new dam. Tamil Nadu Chief minister J Jayalalithaa reiterated that Mullaperiyar dam was safe and appealed the people of Kerala not to succumb to the mechanisations of ill-wishers and unscrupulous mischief mongers. "Please do not indulge in acts of senseless violence and vandalism over an imaginary non-issue," she requested.

Her appeal came in the wake of violence and vandalism on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border where Sabrimala pilgrims were allegedly attacked by some people.

On Dec 6, Malayalam actors and directors held a candle light protest in Kochi demanding a speedy and peaceful resolution on the dam issue over which Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been going through a rough patch.

Tamil Nadu has been looking to raise the water level in the dam and is accusing Kerala government of arousing panic among the people in order to curtail Tamil Nadu's share of water from the dam. The tussle moved to the Supreme Court and in 2006, the court had directed the water level in the dam to be raised to 142 feet from 136 feet.

Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the issue and informed, "We are very anxious about the safety of the dam and we are concerned. We have already decided to give the full quantity of water to Tamil Nadu. Our slogan itself is Water for Tamil Nadu, Safety for Kerala. We are not aware on what grounds Tamil Nadu is opposing construction of a new dam."

Kerala demands for a new dam as it has been concluded by several expert bodies that the 116-year-old dam won't be able to resist a higher magnitude earthquake which poses a greater threat to the lives of people living at the downstream districts of Idukki, Ernakulam, Kottayam, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta in Kerala.

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