Mullaperiyar Dam: Traders bandh in Erode
Erode: Shops and business establishments in the district remained shut on Friday in response to a bandh call given by Erode traders' associations expressing support
to the Tamil Nadu government's stand on Mullaperiyar dam, a bone of contention with neighbouring Kerala for long.
Shops belonging to the Kerala Samaj, Erode, also downed shutters supporting Tamil Nadu's stand, Samaj sources said.
Hotels remained shut while the Municipal daily market was closed after 7 am. Autorickshaws were also off the roads.
However Pharmacies and petroleum retail outlets were functioning as usual. Arrival of vegetables to the market was limited, trade sources said, adding, the turmeric market also declared a holiday.
The Federation of All Traders Associations of Erode appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene immediately and hold talks between the two states.
It also wanted the Prime Minister to advise Kerala to abide by a Supreme Court verdict on raising the water level to 142 feet and not allow construction of a new dam in place of the existing 116-year-old structure as demanded by the
Kerala wants decommissioning of the reservoir citing safety concerns which is opposed by Tamil Nadu where the dam's water is used for irrigation in five districts--Madurai, Theni, Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga and Dindigul.
Traders' outfits in these districts had observed a bandh yesterday protesting Kerala's stand on the dam issue.