Ties between people of two States must not be affected, says MP

Water for Tamil Nadu and protection for the people of the Kerala is the declared policy of the State government and one cannot gauge the logic behind the Tamil Nadu government's objection to a new dam at Mullaperiyar, Idukki MP P.T. Thomas has said.

Addressing the public at the venue of the Mullaperiyar agitation here on Sunday, Mr. Thomas said Tamil Nadu's claim that only four tremors had occurred in the region was incorrect. There were 24 tremors in a short period and four tremors of over 3 in the Richter scale. Hence, the only immediate solution was to reduce the water level to 120 ft, which could be done either by diverting water to Tamil Nadu or by spillway desiltation process. It should be noted that there was no sluice to divert water from the dam, Mr. Thomas said. 

The State government's keenness in constructing a new dam could not be questioned as the Chief Minister had visited Delhi twice in a week to press the demand. All MPs cutting across party lines were supporting him. The lives of people downstream the dam could not be compromised because of the stubborn stand of the Tamil Nadu government.

However, he added, there should not be any move to create rift between the people of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. He said that the Mullaperiyar dam raised a threat to the people of Tamil origin also since the area which faced immediate threat in the area was Vandiperiyar, where 80 percent of the people were of Tamil origin. Also, there were many Keralites in Cumbum and Theni and the cordial relationship between the two communities should not be affected, he said.

Mr. Thomas said he was holding a hunger strike at the venue along with Jose K. Mani, and Anto Antony, MPs, to declare solidarity with the people who live downstream of the dam.

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