Hundreds of people participated in a rally here on Sunday, demanding safety measures as the water level is rising in the Mullaperiyar dam with the monsoon.

At a meeting held after the rally organised by the Mullaperiyar Samara Samithi, speakers said safety measures should not wait till the water level reached the maximum permitted height of 136 ft in the dam weakened by age.

They said a relay hunger strike which entered the 1,316th day would continue till a solution was found to end the threat posed by the century-old dam. The peaceful agitation, one of the longest in the State, was started out of a genuine demand for security of people living downstream.

C.P. Roy, chairman of the samithi, said that with the case now with the Supreme Court, people had hope for a solution. But instead of waiting for the court order, efforts should be made to make Kerala and Tamil Nadu reach an amicable solution. Chauvinistic elements should not be allowed to take advantage of the situation and strain the relationship between people of the two States.

He said the issue was not something to be raised only when the water level increased. A permanent solution was required and the samithi would not call off the strike on hollow promises.