Idukki (Kerala): Sharp differences in the local
campaign group agitating for a new dam at Mullaperiyar for the
last five years has come to the fore with the removal of its
chairman C P Roy.
According to the Mullaperiyar Samara Samithi leaders, Roy
was removed from the post for his recent remarks which diluted
the Samithi`s firm stand that a new dam alone could ensure the
safety of the people in downstream areas.
The Samithi at its meeting here last evening decided to
remove Roy from the post and nominated Fr Joy Nirappel as the
According to Roy, his suggestion was that pressure in the
dam could be reduced by digging a tunnel at a height of 50
feet in place of the present one at 104 feet. He said the
paramount concern was safety of the people who had been living
in fear for the last several years.
Roy said he had only put forth a suggestion, which was
yet to be discussed by the Samithi members.
However, the Mullaperiyar Samara Samithi, in a statement
said, Roy`s personal view was at divergence with it`s declared
stand that a new dam is the only option to ensure security to
lakhs of people who are living in fear.
The dam row has intensified since last month with both
Tamil Nadu and Kerala sparring over the latter`s insistence on
building a new dam in place of the 116-year old Mullaperiyar
reservoir, causing tension in border areas of both states.
Kerala has been citing safety concerns for its demand to
decommission the dam, which feeds five southern districts in
Tamil Nadu, under whose control it comes on a 999 year lease.