Shops in 5 districts of South TN down shutters

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had slammed the Centre yesterday for forming an expert team to draw up a contingency response plan for the reservoir.

Last Updated: Dec 22, 2011, 12:08 PM IST

Madurai: Shops and business establishments in five districts of South Tamil Nadu, benefited by the waters of the Mullaperiyar Dam over which the state is locked in a
raging row with Kerala, downed shutters in response to a bandh call given by traders` outfits and local chambers of commerce.

The protest is to condemn Kerala`s insistence on demolishing the 116-year-old dam which provides water for irrigation to the districts of Madurai, Theni, Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga and Dindigul, traders said.
Police said the shutdown was total in all the five districts. Cinema houses also remained closed. However, petrol stations were open.

Meanwhile, shop owners in some areas of Erode district downed shutters, demanding that Centre advise Kerala to abide by the Supreme Court order on raising the dam level to 142 feet.

Trade sources said cattle for slaughter and poultry to be transported to Kerala remained unsold with no buyers from the neighbouring state visiting the markets.

The dam issue has escalated in recent days in the midst of an unending war of words between leaders of both states over Kerala`s insistence on demolishing the dam, located in Idukki district, citing safety concerns which, Tamil Nadu
strongly opposes.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had slammed the Centre yesterday for forming an expert team to draw up a contingency response plan for the reservoir, saying it was succumbing to the "subterfuge" of Kerala government.

PTI