Strike over Mullaperiyar dam evokes mix response
Thiruvananthapuram: A dawn to dusk state-wide hartal called Wednesday by a forum supporting Kerala`s stand on constructing a new dam was total in Idukki district, where the 116-year old dam is situated and was partial in other parts of the state.
Shops, business establishments and schools remained closed in Idukki district. Buses and autorickshaws were off the roads and the hartal called by Mullaperiyar Samrakshna
Samithi disrupted normal life in the district.
The hartal was in protest against Centre`s attitude towards the state demand for constructing a new dam in place of the existing structure, over which Kerala and Tamil Nadu
have a long pending dispute.
No untoward incident was reported so far from the district, police sources said.
However, response to hartal in other parts of the state was
partial and lukewarm. Shops and traders opened their
establishments and private and government buses were
conducting services as usual.
Some of the educational institutions including professional
colleges in the state had declared a holiday in view of the
hartal. Universities had also postponed examinations scheduled for the day. Public Service Commission had also postponed an interview scheduled for the day.
Kerala Congress (M), the third largest component in Congress-led ruling UDF, has also pledged its "moral support"
to the hartal.
Though one month had elapsed after an all-party
delegation from Kerala met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in
Delhi, the Centre had not taken any effective steps in the
matter, the hartal supporters said.
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