Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tamil Nadu, Kerala fight ad war on Mullaperiyar dam

After the Centre-mediated talks between the chief ministers of Tamil Nadu and Kerala on the Mullaperiyar dam issue went amiss, the states have now taken the row to the public forum through newspaper advertisements.

The two states have been fighting over the water level in Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala’s Idukki district, but administered by Tamil Nadu, following an agreement between Madras Presidency and the Travancore state in 1886.

Tamil Nadu, which gets the diverted Mullaperiyar waters to irrigate its southern districts, wants to increase the storage level to 142 feet, while Kerala says it would damage the dam, putting at risk 35 lakh people living downstream.

Even as the Supreme Court has asked the two states to settle the dispute through talks, Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi initiated the new campaign on Saturday, releasing half-page advertisements in English, Tamil and Malayalam newspapers in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

With excerpts from his speech at the chief ministers’ meet in Delhi, the copy strikes a cordial note, extolling the camaraderie the people of the two states have historically shared. But it maintains that Tamil Nadu will not go back on its demand to raise the water level.

He also questioned Kerala’s concern over the safety of the dam. “The dam has been designed to withstand the effect of earthquakes anticipated… we are not doing any justice by thrusting an opinion in the minds of the public that the dam may burst if water level is raised to 142 ft. No gravity dam has ever burst…,” the message beneath the picture of a beaming Karunanidhi read.

Kerala chief minister V S Achudanandan retorted the very next day with similar advertisements arguing the safety points. “We wish to convey the grave threat that is being faced by the 35-lakh people in Kerala… This 111-year-old lime and surkhi is unsafe for the people living downstream,” the advertisement read.


At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Mk is not doing any justice either the people of Tamil nadu or Kerala. The Supereme court verdicit can be only be applied when there is a heavy rainfall, either he should have shut the shutters of the dam boaldly during rainfall and should have estabilished the fact that the dam is capable of withstanding the storage level of 142 ft.or should have accepted his inability to bring water to Tamil nadu. Dragging the issue will create hateread between two friendly neighbour states. I could not understand why the Tn Govnt fixed the date of talks to be on the end of nov during which practaially all the rains stops in Tramilnadu.

Politicans play with the life of people ....It is very much unfair rural farmer being dicthed again and againg by all governments without giving any longlerm solutions to the problem.

If the strength of the dam is quewstioned then if the political parties have the will to solve the problem then it is better to buli a dam for 4000 crores (with 250 ft height)rather than bribing the farmers and rural indians with 2700 crores with Colour Tvs just to boost Sun tv market share. And waving 6500 crores of agricultural loans in Public sector banks Without any preconditions.throught the state(we are not against to compenstate farmers during any floods and drought conditions) Time has come pls change


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