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Updated: January 7, 2012 04:18 IST

Kerala, Tamil Nadu take divergent stand on new Mullaperiyar dam

J. Venkatesan
Comment (26)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
The controversy surrounding the 116-year old Mullaperiyar dam continues as Tamil Nadu and Kerala stick to their stand.
The Hindu
The controversy surrounding the 116-year old Mullaperiyar dam continues as Tamil Nadu and Kerala stick to their stand.

Kerala favours independent panel for water regulation, Tamil Nadu is against new dam itself

Kerala has maintained that it is agreeable to the constitution of an independent committee, with representatives of both Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the Union of India, for regulation of the waters of a new Mullaperiyar dam.

Kerala made this response to the Supreme Court-appointed Empowered Committee's January 2 oral directive to both States to indicate their stand on the question of constituting an “independent committee” for the purpose.

But Tamil Nadu rejected this proposal, arguing that the question of building a new dam, let alone regulation of its waters, would not arise at all, as the existing dam was safe.

Operation and maintenance

Kerala said the Empowered Committee had asked the two States: “Who would have the control of the new dam and be responsible for its operation and maintenance, i.e., the State of Tamil Nadu or the State of Kerala?”

Kerala said that in its written submission dated October 27, 2010 it had stated that the ownership, operation and maintenance of a new dam should vest with it. But the regulation of waters from a new dam would be handled by a joint committee of engineers of both the States as was being done in the Parabmikulam Aliyar Project and the Sirvuani Drinking Water Scheme.

Prevailing practice

“The joint committee proposed is in consonance with the prevailing practice under the Parabmikulam Aliyar Project and the Siruvani Drinking Water Scheme. In the inter-State Parabmikulam Aliyar Project, the waters of the Chalakudy, Bharatapuzha and Periyar rivers are inter alia diverted from Kerala to Tamil Nadu. The works are constructed by both States. The regulation of waters is [done] by a Joint Water Regulation Board.”

Independent committee

In the case of the Siruvani scheme, “the waters of the Siruvani river are diverted from Kerala to Tamil Nadu. The Siruvani dam located in Kerala was constructed by the State by employing the funds of … Tamil Nadu. However, in response to the further question posed by this Empowered Committee on January 2, i.e., constitution of an independent committee for the regulation of waters of a new dam proposed, the State of Kerala submits that it is agreeable to the constitution of an independent committee — of which the representatives of both the States and the Union of India are made part.”

Tamil Nadu and Kerala should be merged to make a single state. All the dispute will disappear then.

from:  Suvendu Samanta
Posted on: Jan 16, 2012 at 16:20 IST

For the benefit of farmers & common man add Theni, Madurai, Sivaganga, Ramnad & coimbatore districts to kerala. They can ensure water, better education & social support. Now all big states of India like UP, AP etc are regionally getting divided as smaller states for better governance. Tamil nadu can follow the same.

from:  Mano
Posted on: Jan 13, 2012 at 01:39 IST

Kerala's submission that the ownership,operation and maintenance of a
new dam will vest with it but the regulation of waters from a new dam
would be handled by a joint committee of engineers of both the States
will not cut any ice with TN people.Left Front Leaders have voiced
dissent to the nascent proposal of joint water management.Govt changes
every five years in Kerala.Given the past action to nullify the order
of the Supreme Court,TN has genuine apprehensions about a scenario of
ownership and control of the proposed new dam with the State of
Kerala.Everything is a ploy to nullify the lease agreement,take
control of the dam and thereafter put technical cum legal bottleneck
to the flow of Periyar water to TN.Before reorganization the MP dam
was owned by Madras State and used for irrigation of areas in Madras
State.Dividing the state along Western Ghats has placed the dam in
Kerala and separated the dam from the irrigated area.Here lies the
fault,correct it. New dam is not needed.

from:  B.Krishnakumar
Posted on: Jan 9, 2012 at 12:14 IST

The agreement is valid and subsequently validated by both Kerala and TN governments. If the Kerala Government gives control of the proposed Dam, the TN govt may agree for a new Dam. Otherwise there is no chance

from:  Rajamanickkam
Posted on: Jan 9, 2012 at 09:36 IST

Mr.Bose A Panicker... A GOOD ONE!!I appreciate your views.Just a small correction,the so called voters or people, never involve in Politics,its the Politicians who poison them.Even now if the Supreme Court says,the dam is not safe,I am sure, most of the common man in TN will accept for a new dam irrespective of the motive, whatever, Kerala Government might have.But the problem here is,Politicians on either sides are playing the dirty game of Politics,I think you will agree with that...logics,reasons etc., doesn't hold any meaning here,Unless we people on both sides prepared to turn def ears,these things will continue and influence us.

from:  Jaya Prakash
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 20:13 IST

Both the governments have submitted their views to EC. Whether it is necessary to build a new dam while the existing one is safe and also the raising up the water levels; are the centre of issue of Mullaiperiar dam and in such a case, why, now, a question arises on constituting a panel/ committee and regulation of waters. These should be left to the SC and we have to wait until the verdict comes.

from:  S.Hariharan
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 09:52 IST

Everybody is comfortably forgetting the fact,that the agreement of 1886
between the Foreign invader with an autocratic prince is null and void
after 1947.Moreover tamilnadu is forgetting the fact that the water
belongs to Kerala. They have every right to divert it for their
requirement. Simply because that the politicians have some leverage in
the coalition politics they are igniting the feelings of masses

from:  Krishnamoorthy N
Posted on: Jan 8, 2012 at 09:18 IST

By all estimates kerala determined to achieve the cancellation of the old agreement which seems to be a frustrated one in its history ,least bothering about their dependence on tamilnadu for everything.

from:  chandrasekar
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 19:48 IST

Is someone waiting for the day an 100 year old dam will clash and more than thousands of people will die. it is a selfish act if some people if someone claims that people's life is not valuable to them .it should a general practice to shut down/rebuilt the dams of age more than an 100 year in order to avoid any probability of clash of it due to any calamity in future. what is the problem if new dam will be built, in case? by the way, to make it clear i am neither from kerala nor from Tamil Nadu, I am from India

from:  reetu sharma
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 19:34 IST

the only possible solution with mistrust pervasive on both sides is to build a new dam downstream that can contain the waters of the river in the event of a natural disaster, retaining the present one as long as it survives.

from:  Suresh Bindhumadhav
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 19:25 IST

Cool down,Tamilnadu can't agree to the proposal with out fighting till the last moment.As the leader of the ruling party, CM of Tamilnadu will have to establish that she is not swaying to the tune of Kerala and need to assert that she is fighting for the state by tooth and nail.Quite natural- not to blame her.At the same time if a directive comes from the Hon'ble Suprem Court she can very well obey the order as it comes from the apex body.Tamilnadu has got a good track record of abiding Supream Court orders in letter and spirit.On the contrary if she agrees now, certainly the voters will ask why it was agreed.So please don't find fault with the decesion of Tamilnadu CM.After all everybody knows that the so called 999 year agreement executed before framing our constitution can be abrogated by the Suprem Court if so waranted.So the Tamilnadu Chief Minister is not having any animosity with Kerala-she is simply doing her job as a politcian -as siple as patient.

from:  Bose A Panicker
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 17:45 IST

The matter is referred to Supreme court as there is no agreement or consent between both states on any issues in this dispute.Both states have taken divergent stands in the dam dispute and pressurising each other to accept their own views.So,let the supreme court decide on the matter and let us wait for their final verdict.Till then let us keep quiet and not make wild comments and threats to each other,as we have seen in the recent past that every action in one side has it's equilent reaction from the other side.But let us also remember that Supreme court is really the supreme authority of our country and let us accept their verdict and implement it.

from:  S.Venugopal
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 15:38 IST

The new slogan 'Water to Tamilnadu and Safety to Kerala'is the real solution.But the stand taken by the Tamilnadu government is absurd and it does not stand any where.They are trying to portray that the Dam is safe and moreover they want to raise the current water level too.The people in Kerala, whether the Dam is safe or not,live in constant fear.So the governments in two states should reach to an amicable settlement and the people in two states should live in harmoney.

from:  Ramesh
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 15:28 IST

Is there not a saying 'putting the cart before the horse' or something like that? The EC is also doing something like that. Now the present state of affairs is to determine whether the present dam is safe or not and if not safe whether it is necessary to have a new dam. So only after the safety of the dam is ascertained the question of a new dam arise. So far all the experts except the CESS have told that the dam cannot be affected by an earthquake. If the present dam has been weakened, then also it should be seen whether it can be repaired effectively. Nobody demolish a building and build a new one if a crack is seen in an old one. So it was not at all necessary to ask the question of building a new dam and terms. Let EC wait for the technical report on the state of the present dam.

from:  V K Guptan
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 11:55 IST

Kerala Government stance regarding the construction of new dam is very good. If the present dam is in a dilapidated state, as confirmed by technical experts/structural engineers, the only solution is construction of a new dam. Both Kerala and Tamil Nadu Government should co-operate for achieving this goal. We are all Indians and must maintain this attitude always. Think for the safety of people first. Each and every life is precious, so better to prevent deliberate disasters by human being not happening on this earth. 'SAFETY FOR KERALA AND WATER FOR TAMILNADU'.

from:  Rajendran Chandrasekharannair
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 11:16 IST

No reason is given, Why TN is opposing this. Did they face any issues with the existing Siruvani and Parambikulam-Aliyar model ? If TN is opposing, they are going to have a tough time with Kerala when there is a requirement to renew the Siruvani and Parambikulam agreements. If TN does not trust Kerala why Kerala should trust TN ?.

from:  Janardhan
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 10:29 IST

very hypothetical question creating embarrassment to the parties the parties are representing crores of people.w/o referendum one -time govt. should not and cannot take may go mEN may come but the the justice rendered is permanent. ever applicable./acceptable/beneficial to all concerned.this was the wish and motive of the dharmavan a British gentleman who constructed the dam the symbol of solidity and impertarbablity like the sriviliputhur-265 ft tower of 1000years-age built by a chera king..

from:  govindappan
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 10:15 IST

Now that experts of the Empowered committee nominated by Supreme Court has confirmed that Periyar Dam is strong and safe, there is no logic behind Kerala's demand for a new dam. Kerala's continuing demand for a new dam and its talk of ownership and joint management of the new dam, only exposes its true intentions of invalidating the 999 year lease and Kerala's hidden agenda of control of water.
Kerala should stop asking for a new dam and allow Tamil Nadu to raise the dam level to 142 ft, as ordered by the Supreme Court on February 27, 2006. If Kerala is adamant on its demand, it will only widen the rift between the two states and fuel the demand for getting back Idukki District to Tamil Nadu.

from:  Raja Sagathevan
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 09:18 IST

This stand of Kerala explicitly clears that Kerala has no hidden agenda but the safety of its people. Kerala is not stubborn in its />dealing with the issue as Tamilnadu. Tamilnadu is trying to kill the duck that lays golden eggs. No wonder it is in fight with Karnataka & Andhra over water disputes. Tamil nadu should understand that its the generosity of kerala why they're getting water from Periyar and numerous other rivers in Kerala, not their divine right on these waters. Even though you're riparian in cauvery river water dispute you're getting only regulated amount of water, that too out of their mercy. But here, Kerala is giving as much as water in abundance to Tamil Nadu without any regulation and indeed asking to take more facing all the risks from its own rivers. Don't become selfish to this extent. We're risking our lives to provide you water. still we're telling, reduce the risk, we'll give water... Do any of these experts will provide you with water if dam collapsed?

from:  Jerin Ambalathinkal
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 08:33 IST

The only solution to this irreconcilable controversy is (1) to construct a new dam adjoining the present 116 year old dam just to allay the fear psychosis of Kerala that the old dam may burst and (2) to satisfy Tamil Nadu to increase the water level as dictated by the Supreme Court in its 2006 judgment so that Tamil Nadu will get enough water to irrigate more areas to implement its envisaged project with the aid already got from the World Bank.The new dam will serve as a buffer to the old dam.

from:  P.Radhakrishnan
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 08:23 IST

I think Kerala is making a mistake here,by changing its stand too often.They started by saying the dam was old and weak,later on went on to add the earthquake 'fear factor',now they seem to say 'forget everything,lets talk about the new dam!The question here is very simple,is the dam safe?If it is not,we must build a new one,if it safe,the question of new dam doesn't araise.Why Kerala is so adamant about a new dam?does it have any political motive?I think the fear of TN is justified.What was the need for creating fear in the peoples mind about earthquakes,when the past history for 100 years shows no major ones which could damage a dam.Accepted,manitude above 6.5 could cause a damage,but it is based on assumption which may or maynot happen.The same could be said for the new dam too,with a higher intensity earthquake.WHERE IS THE END THEN??Its high time both the states act mature,respect and believe in the Supreme Court for a solution,instead of playing with the emotions of the people.

from:  Jaya Prakash
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 07:44 IST

Unless the Union Govt takes a serious look at this Mullaperiyar Row this can't be solved. Both govt of Kerala and Tamil Nadu have completely opposing view on this matter. There is no compromising stand at all. In the meantime, movie like Dam999 by Rohan Roy is throwing the monkey wrench into the issue by emotionalizing the problem. As per the movie, the Dam is destroyed by a 6.5 RS earthquake near the Dam, and not the leaking water per se. Such earthquakes can bring on enormous destruction with or without a Dam, anywhere in the country. If a non partisan International Expert Panel inspects the Mullaperiyar Dam and renders its opinion on the safety of the Dam, then both parties must agree to it without any controversy. If the Panel doubts the safety, then a New Dam must be planned; if not, live with the old Dam, period.

from:  Yamaka
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 07:41 IST

SC HAS THUS WRONGLY ALLOWED Tamilnadu to claim that they have the same rights on mullaperiyar dam and demarcated areas as the ones given to Colonial Britain under the agreement signed in 1886 by V Ramiyengar, british appointed Dewan of Travancore and British India's Secretary for Madras presidency J C Hannington

from:  KARAN
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 07:39 IST

If the construction of a new dam by the Kerala Government independent to that of present Mulaiperiyaru dam which affect the flow of water to the old dam ,how it can be considered as viable one. If reduction of water level at the old dam is the aim of constructing the new dam how it could be alllowed as it will run couter to the decision of the present order of the Suprerm court. Why not the water bodies cannot be made national in the interest of the whole nation avoiding conflicts between states as it happens at present. Foermerly, states have been co-operative in taking decisions in the interest of both states on the basis of giving and receiving in exchange. Now they seem to be adament in their stand not paving way for any solution.A lenient view should prevail for the amicable solution of the problem as was the case in the past.

from:  S.Kothandaraman
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 05:44 IST

The dam is more than 100years old.If my observation is correct it must be a straight Gravity MASONRY Dam.If it is constructed with stone masonry (granite) there is hardly any effect of water on the body of the Dam.The only result is silting of dam.This results in reduced Dead capacity of the DAM.The joints of the stone Masonry can be raked and redone at the points of maximum intensity of water pressure that is at 1/3rd from the Base of the dam. This increases the life of the Dam to a great extant in my opinion.

from:  Suresh R.V
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 05:37 IST

For what ever reasons would the tamil people allow other state to dictate on any matter which is on Tamil soil.Hence do not dictate what to do with Mullaperiyar which is not in your state but We the Kerala state will give you the water you want, but we need the guarantee of millons of life for that purpose. Now some may rise questions about the ownership of natural resources, its all about agreements and also more important is about where it is. If you don't have water can you say to Delhi or any other place in the world to provide water. Please understand irrespective of politics in both sides. The British engineer who constucted this dam had only given less than half a century for this dam. But it is still there by God's grace. Just think about what will happen if it fall, millions of life will be lost , but more important to TN, water is also lost.

from:  Abraham
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 04:56 IST
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