Pre-Independence agreements between erstwhile princely states and the British cease to exist vide the Indian Independence Act, 1947 (Editorial, May 12). Moreover, water is a matter included in Entry 17 of the State List which is subject to Entry 56 in the Union List. The Mullaperiyar issue could have been resolved years ago had the Centre shown more concern by using provisions under Entry 56.
Ajit K. Menon,
A golden opportunity was missed in this verdict to lay down guidelines for dam decommissioning. Dams have a life, some of them shorter than others due to constant geological movements, while others are affected by floods and earthquakes. The projection of a termination date should be a part of dam operations. Mullaperiyar is a 119-year-old dam. Though the Supreme Court has held that it is safe on “structural, seismic and hydrological” aspects, it has failed to instil confidence in the lakhs of people who live downstream in Kerala.
The suggestion of a new tunnel to evacuate unused water will only reinforce the fear psychosis that grips Kerala. If the dam’s safety has been guaranteed by field experts, why talk about this? Governments need to stop politicising the issue and leave it to field experts. International expertise is needed too with the dissemination of scientifically correct information. The Supreme Court needs to monitor this process.
We, in India, appear to be specialists in wasting natural resources with no consideration for either the nation or the welfare of people. I have seen a dam and a common power station on the Rhine feeding power units erected by Switzerland and two by Germany, with two separate outlets going out to the two countries. When two countries can work together, why cannot two States?
Kerala of course has reasons to be aggrieved after the judgment. However, it is time both sides realised the futility of continuing the fight in court rooms. If the Chief Ministers of both States display statesmanship they can pave the way for technical experts to address concerns over water supply and dam safety.
The judgment seems to have glossed over the feelings of those who live downstream. Experts must be practical and assuage the fears of farmers and ordinary people.
Renjesh Lal S.R.,
The verdict was low on empathy and more about legal points which did hardly anything to address the genuine fears of the people of Kerala.