The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), in its full Commission meeting on Monday next, will hear the petition filed by some of the Kerala MPs seeking its “humanitarian intervention” to save the people of Idukki and adjoining districts who are likely to be affected if the Mullaperiyar dam bursts as apprehended.
The MPs, including P.T. Thomas (Idukki) and K.P. Dhanapalan (Chalakudy) (both Congress) and Jose K. Mani (Kottayam) (Kerala Congress-M), in their petition to NHRC member Justice G.P. Mathur here on Wednesday, claimed that the entire Kerala was panic stricken over the possible collapse of the 116-year old dam constructed with lime and surky. “Four districts of Kerala are under severe threat and millions of people will be washed away if the dam collapses if there is an earthquake of high intensity.”
People of the area were not leading a normal and peaceful life and some of them had even started looking for relocation. Even students were reluctant to go to school. “For millions of innocent people, it is nothing but a tussle between the life and the death,” they said.
The MPs, joined by some MPs from the Congress and the Left parties in Kerala, staged a dharna near the Gandhi statue in the parliament complex on the issue.
Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Home Mullapally Ramachandran has written a separate letter to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to take urgent steps to find an amicable solution to this Kerala-Tamil Nadu dispute. He told The Hindu that the Prime Minister had promised to look into the issue and resolve it as it involved the interests of the people of both the States. “Water for Tamil Nadu and safety for Kerala is the slogan and I hope everything will end in a peaceful manner,” he said.
Meanwhile, CPI MP from Tamil Nadu (Tenkasi) P. Lingam dismissed as “mere media hype and false propaganda” on reports of fear expressed in Kerala about the safety of the dam. That State had even flouted the Supreme Court direction on increasing the water level up to 142 feet and what was the guarantee that Tamil Nadu would continue to get water if the new dam was allowed to be constructed, he wanted to know.
Keywords: Mullaperiyar dam row