Hartal on Mullaperiyar issue total in Idukki
Idukki, Kerala, Nov 22: The dawn-to-dusk hartal in Idukki demanding immediate solution to the Mullaperiyar issue began on a peaceful note with shops and other business establishments remaining closed and vehicles off the roads.
The shutdown, called by Citizen Protection Committee, is being observed at four panchayats -- Upputhura, Ayyapan Kovil, Vandiperiyar and Elapara -- situated on the banks of river Periyar.
The hartal was total, sources said.
The demands, included construction of a new dam at Mullaperiyar and maintaining the storage level in the reservoir at 136 feet. The water level in the Mullaiperiyar reservoir stood at 138.8 feet today.
Kerala Water Resources Minister N K Premachandran had yesterday said the state would not hesitate to take intensive measures for ensuring the safety of its people if the water level in the reservoir increased to a very dangerous level.
The all-party meeting, convened by state Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan on Monday, also authorised him to demand the construction of a new dam at Mullaperiyar and a new agreement during the talks with Tamil Nadu, called by the Centre on November 29.
The rising of the water level beyond the danger level had raised concerns among the people living on the banks of the Periyar river, where the district administration had sounded a high alert.