Mullaperiyar row: TN merchants to stop trading with Kerala

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Mullaperiyar Dam
Coimbatore, Dec 18: As tension over the Mullaperiyar issue continues, the merchants in Tuticorin and Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu have decided to completely stop trading with neighbouring state Kerala following the attack on Tamilians working in the state.

The step comes after the Mullaperiyar row affected the truck movements to Kerala from Tamil Nadu. As a consequence, the vegetable prices in Tamil Nadu came down.

The price of tomatoes on Thursday, Dec 15 came down in Coimbatore, while the price was Rs 25 per kg three weeks ago. While Onions were priced ar Rs 24 per kg and came down to Rs 12 per kg, while Tomatoes cost Rs 200 per kg and brinjal cost Rs 160 per kg in Kerala.

"Tomato farmers are the worst-affected as they have to sell off the produces at very nominal rate. As far as we are concerned, the profit from selling tomato is just 1 rupee and we do not get any profit from the sale of spinach," said V D Selvaraj, a vegetable stall owner in the Gandhipuram market said.

"The situation is quite alarming. As it is Christmas-New year season in Kerala, we expected a bumper sale and better earnings. Mullaperiyar issue has cast a shadow over the year-end sale,'' said a trader, who transports vegetables to Kerala.

"I hope the tension would ease very soon as the Supere Court and Prime Minister intervened in Tamil Nadu's favour. Otherwise, the tomato farmers will perish,'' said M Sivagnanam, a tomato farmer.

Meanwhile Home Minister P Chidamabaram's comment that Kerala is raising ruckus over the dam row keeping in mind the upcoming Piravom by elections in the state did not go down well with many. The comment has been heavily criticised by the Kerala MP PT Thomas who demanded an apology from the Home Minister.

Talking about the issue Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also hoped that a solution would be out soon over the raging issue.

"I am trying to persuade both governments to sit together, I have not succeeded so far, but I have not given up hope, if good sense prevails, as I do believe will prevail, I am confident in the leadership of both Tamil Nadu and Kerala, that in a mutually satisfactory manner, this problem can be resolved," Singh said.

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