It has come to clear that the report of the empower committee appointed by the Supreme Court on the Mullaperiyar issue was one-sided and completely against the interest of Kerala, former Water Resources Minister N.K. Premachandran has said.
Inaugurating the public meet held here in connection with the completion of 2,000 days of hunger strike here, he said that all the governments of the State had the declared policy of a new dam at Mullaperiyar. For this, there is technical support as the studies of Roorky IIT had clearly said that the dam was weak. No government in the State had said for an alternative solution of a tunnel proposal. There is no ground for such an alternative proposal and it is clear that it will negatively affect the economy of Thekkady and will do immense damage to the environment as the lake is also a perennial water source for the wild animals in the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
Even when there is proof that the dam was weak, there is no solution other than a new dam, he said and added that the fear of thousands of people living on the downstream of the dam should not go unheard. The peaceful hunger agitation that completed 2,000 days is the reflection of the might of people and it should not be considered a mere agitation for local cause. He said that people from various walks of life supported the strike as it was for a genuine cause.
He said that the agitation was one of the peaceful and longest fast seen in the State. He said that he hop[ed for a solution of the issue taken into confidence the people's will who lived in the constant thread of the century old dam. Mullaperiyar Agitation Council chairman Fr Joy Nirappel presided over the function.
The speakers at the meet included P.C. Thomas, ex-M.P and the office-bearers of the council.
Earlier, hundreds of people participated in a public rally that began from Alady.
On the 2,000 days of the fast for a new dam at Mullaperiyar, the support for the agitation launched by the Mulllaperiyar Agitation Council was evident as hundreds of people participated in the public rally and a fast here.
The relay hunger strike on the permanent venue here was started by Fr. Joy Nirappel and environmentalist C.P. Roy on December 25, 2006. Last year, when the agitation was going at a peak, it received large public support and the venue here turned a media focus. However, some political parties slowly moved out of the venue. But the public outcry for a new dam did not dampened in the changed atmosphere and the mass relay fast continued here.
The speakers at the public rally here on Wednesday underlined the meed for a new dam and criticised the report of the empower committee, which they said was completely against the interest of the State.
The agitation should not be stopped till the demand for a new dam at Mullaperiyar is met, they said. There is still hope for the people as a final decision of the Supreme Court is yet to be pronounced, the speakers said. The wide support still pouring from various quarters is evident from the the fast still going on and the support for the hartal declared in the State, they said.
The continued tremors and the water level which topped the Mullaperiyar dam prompted the government to reduce the water-level in the Idukki reservoir during the end of last Southwest monsoon. With another monsoon season begining, the agitation council is preparing for intensifying the strike, the office-bearers said.