Mullaperiyar: MDMK arm-twisting; proposes economic blockade

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Mullaperiyar Dam
Bangalore, Dec 19: With the Mullaperiyar row getting ugly with every passing day, both states are at the receiving end with many instances of crime and political high-handedness displayed by both Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The latest in this front is the proposal by Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) leader Vaiko Gopalaswamy to call for an economic blockade to Kerala.

The move by MDMK is to exert pressure on the Kerala government to avoid drastic steps like decommissioning of the controversial Mullaperiyar Dam. Vaiko has been quoted as saying to mediapersons, "On December 21st we propose to organise blockade of 13 routes which connect Tamil Nadu with Kerala. We will stop inter-state transportation and hold protests in a peaceful manner."

Vaiko added, "Until Kerala gives an assurance that they will not propose any move to damage the dam, the people from Tamil Nadu will continue with the economic blockade, which would be carried out on 21st December is a mere trailer and a caution to Kerala. If Kerala does not relent on the issue of dam we would turn the protest into a permanent one." [Read: TN merchants to stop trading with Kerala]

Kerala and Tamil Nadu are locked in bitter dispute over the 116 year old Mullaperiyar dam. While the Kerala side is arguing that the aging dam needs to be decommissioned to avoid a possible dam breach that could endanger the lives of as many as 35 lakh people. The TN side is firm that the dam is perfectly fine and that the neighbours are creating a fear psychosis among its people. They are also vehemently opposing the construction of a new dam.

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