Participants of a nearly 2-km-long chain through Piravom raised slogans seeking a new dam.

In two separate ‘human chains' organised by the Left Democratic Front, hundreds of people lined the streets of Piravom and Koothattukulam on Wednesday evening in support of a new Mullaperiyar dam.

People linked their arms to one another's to form a nearly 2-km-long line through the heart of Piravom town for five minutes and took a pledge to support a new dam and save the lives of people living in four districts in the downstream of the reservoir. They raised slogans supporting the construction of a new dam soon and protecting the environment and the people of Kerala.

In nearby Koothattukulam, the human chain extended to over a kilometre and linked the outskirts of the town with the downtown area. Piravom and Koothattukulam towns are major centres of the Piravom Assembly constituency where a by-election is due shortly. Though the poll schedule is yet to be announced, both the LDF and the ruling UDF kicked off their election campaign several days ago.

Over a dozen feeder organisations of the CPI(M), and the constituent parties of the LDF took part in the human chains. Besides, Left-leaning NGOs, environmental organisations and cultural bodies as well as a few Christian clergy members added their hands and support to the chain. The two human chains virtually turned out to be a dry run for the December 8 ‘human wall' from Mullaperiyar to Kochi announced by the LDF. The ‘human wall' along the nearly 175-km stretch is to press for action on a new dam to replace the old dam at Mullaperiyar on war-footing. The human wall to be made next Thursday at 4 p.m. would also call for lowering the reservoir's water level to 120 feet.

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