Kerala steps up pressure over Mullaperiyar

Setting aside rivalries, UDF and LDF in Kerala stepped up the demand for a new dam at Mullaperiyar.

Idukki (Ker): Setting aside rivalries, ruling
Congress-led UDF and opposition LDF in Kerala stepped up the
demand for a new dam at Mullaperiyar as water flow into the
reservoir here almost touched the maximum permissible storage
level of 136 feet on Sunday due to heavy rain in the area.

As increased inflow and recurrence of tremors heightened
fears about the safety of the 116-year-old dam, the entire
political spectrum and local resistance groups protested by
blocking roads and called a dawn-to-dusk hartal in Idukkki
district tomorrow.
They wanted Tamil Nadu to accept the proposal to build a
new dam and the Centre to mediate for the resolution of the
prolonged tiff.

The district administration said there was no room for
panic but opened three control rooms to monitor the situation
and alerted the people living near the dam to remain vigilant.

Two shutters of the dam`s spillways had been opened to
allow outflow of excess water since intake by Tamil Nadu had
reduced as reservoirs and canals in the adjoining areas in the
state were in spate due to heavy rain, official sources here
State Congress chief Ramesh Chennithala urged Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh and AICC president Sonia Gandhi to
immediately intervene in the issue holding that lives of three
million people were at stake.

Protesters under the banner of Mullaperiyar Samrakshna
Samiti blocked the Kollam-Theni road and burnt Tamil Nadu
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa`s effigy, sources said.

Meanwhile, a team of scientists conducted inspections in
the Mullaperiyar area to ascertain the impact of recent
tremors on the safety of the dam.


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