Mullaperiyar Dam Issue

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by SpArK, Nov 23, 2011.

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Who do you think has legitimate right to control the dam?

  1. Kerala

    21 vote(s)
    53.8%
  2. Tamil Nadu

    12 vote(s)
    30.8%
  3. Can't say

    6 vote(s)
    15.4%
  1. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

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    Kerala’s dam-rich Idukki a geological time bomb?


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    People of Idukki, Kerala’s second largest district having several giant, large and medium-sized dams, now feel that they are perhaps sitting on a geological time bomb in the context of recurring tremors, soil piping among hills surrounding a huge reservoir and cracks and leaks that keep on appearing in a 115-year-old old-technology dam due to seismic activities.


    In fact, the strange geological occurrences and their alarming effects on the dams of mountainous Idukki are spreading panic not just among the people of that district but also among those in at least two others, Kottayam and Ernakulam. Idukki comes in Zone 3 seismic category where quakes of magnitude up to 6.0 on the Richter scale cannot be ruled out.


    What has caused fresh concerns among the people of the low-lying areas of Idukki district are the new cracks that have developed in the 115-year-old Mullaperiyar dam on the border between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Fresh cracks appeared at least at three points in the dam and water seepage through cracks increased after two low-intensity tremors hit the region on Friday.


    According to amateur geologists who accuse their professional counterparts of keeping facts subdued for understandable reasons, the large and medium-sized dams numbering over a dozen in Idukki district constitute a huge threat to millions of people, other fauna and flora and the geography itself of an entire region.


    However, the biggest concern stems from the changes occurring around the biggest dam of the district itself, the Idukki arch dam, the largest of its kind in entire Asia, which normally keeps 1.5 billion cubic metres of water, used for generating 66 per cent of the total electricity the State consumes.


    The Idukki reservoir system, constituted by three giant dams, is situated right in the downstream line from the Mullaperiyar reservoir, where the ancient-technology dam is said to have reached the last phase of its life. The worry is that the Idukki dam system would not be able to withstand the weight of additional water in the event of a breach in the Mullaperiyar dam.


    “Every time there is a tremor — and tremors keep happening here — we run out to see what is happening,” says Thomachan, a tea garden employee in Vandiperiyar. “It is not for us alone we are worried. We don’t think the Mullaperiyar dam will be there for long. Any danger to it can cause an inconceivable catastrophe for Kerala,” he says.


    Though no scientist suspects the strength of the Idukki arch dam, even geologists are not sure of the strength of the hills that surround the giant reservoir. “Geologically speaking, these hills are very young and may not have grown firm enough to withstand the pressure of so much water for several decades,” says a former official of the Kerala Department of Geology.


    He says that the soil piping (tunnel erosion) phenomenon that had occurred in Udayagiri hills, bordering the Idukki reservoir, in September last year was indicative of how the pressure of water was acting on the soil around the reservoir. Piping occurs when water flows beneath the earth’s surface eroding loose soil and this can worsen with increasing water pressure.


    The live water storage in Idukki reservoir is estimated as 1.5 billion cubic metres which can cause a downward and sideward thrust of up to 1.5 billion tonnes on the reservoir bed. “I don’t think we can allow these young hills to bear such huge weights,” said the former Geology Department official.


    At present, the biggest concern in Idukki is tremors, though of low magnitude, which the Kerala Government is using to justify its demand for the construction of a new dam at Mullaperiyar. The Kerala Water Resources Department says that a minimum of three fresh cracks had appeared in the Mullaperiyar dam in Friday’s tremors and such occurrences were a matter of concern.


    A minimum of 15 mild tremors have hit the Idukki district, sitting on a faultline, in the past five months. A 3.8-magnitude quake had hit the Idukki region in July last but the strongest tremor occurred in the area in the recent past was in December, 2000. It had measured 5.0 on the Richter.


    During his visit to areas hit by Friday’s tremors, John Mathai, head of the Geology wing of the Centre for Earth Science Studies, Thiruvananthapuram said that more quakes were likely to occur and that the people of Idukki should learn to live with the phenomenon as the region came under Zone 3 seismic category


    Is Kerala
     
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  3. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

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    Mullaperiyar row deepens; TN political parties demand ban on 'Dam 999'


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    The Hollywood film Dam 999, which was slated for release on Friday, has already run into a storm with the DMK, MDMK and PMK demanding its ban as they alleged it depicted the collapse of the century-old Mullaiperiyar Dam over which Tamil Nadu is locked in a row with Kerala.


    “The Kerala government is behind this movie, Dam 999. The film depicts a disaster showing lakhs of people perishing when a dam collapses.This is highly condemnable as it depicts the Mullaiperiyar Dam,” DMK Parliamentary leader T.R. Baalu told reporters in New Delhi.



    He said he had sought permission from party chief Mr M. Karunanidhi to meet the Prime Minister and seek a ban on the film.


    According to MDMK general secretary Vaiko, the film starring Indian and Hollywood actors and directed by Sohan Roy, was financed by Keralites.


    It had been named Dam 999 due to the legal rights held by Tamil Nadu over the Mullaiperiyar Dam for 999 years, he said while appealing to the South Indian Film Chambers, Tamil Film Producers Council and the South Indian Artistes Association not to allow the screening of the film in Tamil Nadu.


    PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss said that the film had been screened before the Supreme Court appointed expert committee, headed by retired judge justice A.S. Anand to back Kerala’s claim that the reservoir was unsafe and required to be replaced. He urged chief minister Jayalalithaa to take up the matter with the Centre.


    The dam, located in the Iddukki district of Kerala, is under the control of Tamil Nadu government and meets the irrigation needs of farmers in southern districts bordering Kerala.


    While Kerala had proposed construction of a new dam to replace the old structure stating that it posed a danger to people living downstream, Tamil Nadu has been opposing the move maintaining that the dam was safe.


    Dam 999 is not about Mullaperiyar: Director


    A media gathering at Prasad Studios in Vadapalani, Chennai, on the movie Dam 999, believed to be based on the Mullaperiyar dam, was disrupted after a group of people claiming to be MDMK sympathizers created a ruckus inside the studio.


    The protesters who mistook the gathering as a screening of the movie entered the premises raising slogans against the film and smashed glass panes of the building. Following this, security officials locked down the entrance gate barring anyone from entering into studio premises.


    The protesters took away negatives of a Telugu film (reportedly Mohan Babu’s film) from the lab misconstruing those for Dam 999’s negatives.


    A battalion of police personnel who reached the scene had to face the ire of protesters. Later, assistant directors from Tamil Film Directors Association joined the protest demanding a ban on the movie.


    Issuing a statement, Director Sohan Roy said that Dam 999 was based on a true story about a disaster caused by a dam in 1975 at Banqiuo in China which killed 2, 50,000 people and had nothing to do with any dam in India or especially in Tamil Nadu.


    He also stated that, Dam 999 is not the kind of film which will hurt the values, culture or sentiments of the Tamil people.


    “I have great respect towards the Tamil people, their culture, values and sentiments. I assure that my film doesn’t have any shot or dialogue that would create a bad impression about the land or its people,” said the director adding that he was willing to hold a special preview of the movie for State politicians and assured that any objectionable shot or dialogue, if found, would be removed.


    “Personally I believe Tamil Nadu needs water from Mullaperiyar. The best solution is to construct a bigger dam at the earliest to replace the old one so that Tamil Nadu gets more water and the lives of Keralites can be saved as well,” said Sohan Roy.


    Trailer leaves behind a trail of smoke


    Going by the trailer, Dam 999 has all the trappings of a larger-than-life commercial film – a dramatic villain brandishing a snake, handsome foreign actors having affairs with locals, a mystical Ayurveda healer throwing powder into ceremonial fires, and the dam.


    Mountains of water engulfing Kerala-style houses, large concrete slabs crashing into ships and terrified people running for their lives, as seen in countless other disaster movies. With all this backed by a star cast of critically acclaimed actors and the “3-D” tag line, one would think Sohan Roy’s directorial debut would be an entertaining watch and not much else.


    But then, one hears that the screenplay of Dam999 has been chosen by the Oscar Library for its “permanent core collection”. Shot in the lush locales of Allapuzha and Ooty, apart from studios in the gulf and the Ramoji film city, Dam 999 had roped in Thotta Tharani as art director and Malayalam film composer Ouseppachan.


    Going a step further, Sohan Roy has also released DAM999–The Novel, to give the audience a more elaborate version of his story, claimed to be a tribute to the 2,50,000 people who were killed when China’s Banqiao Dam collapsed in 1975.


    Kerala-born Sohan Roy, who started his career in the Merchant navy, now heads Dubai-based Marine Biz TV, the world’s leading maritime channel, apart from several other successful businesses. He admits that his magnum opus is based on his award-winning documentary, DAMs-The Lethal Water Bombs, that showcases the 100-year-old Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala’s Iddukki district, as a “disaster waiting to happen”.


    The movie has already generated excitement among Kerala youth, spurring them to leave comments like “let’s pray this should not happen in Mullaiperiyar, Tamil people and govt will not get time to regret.”.


    Mullaperiyar row deepens; TN political parties demand ban on 'Dam 999' | Deccan Chronicle
     
  4. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

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  5. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    From my knowledge of the issue (got some info from Mullaperiyar - In search of truth)

    TN doesn't want a new Dam built, since the old one is under some treaty signed with the British. That treaty gives TN favorable benefits for 999 years.
     
  6. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    [​IMG]

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    One of Images circulating on FB about this issue .
     
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  7. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

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    A treaty by an old kingdom and the old colonialists.

    A river originating in kerala, flowing in kerala gives all the water to Tamilnadu on this old draconian law.

    The weak dam falls in a seismic area and there is a threat for the biggest disaster in waiting.

    The courts and ppl concerned are sleeping.
     
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  8. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

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    Recurrence of tremors causes concern over Mullaperiyar dam


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    The officials in charge of the reservoir spotted two minor cracks on it bottom, believed to have been caused by the latest tremor.


    Recurrence of mild tremors in Idukki district in Kerala is causing concern over the safety of the 116-year-old Mullaperiyar dam, located on the borders with Tamil Nadu.


    As many as 22 mild tremors and after-vibrations have occurred in parts of Idukki and adjoining Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts since January this year, officials said.


    Two brief spells of quakes measuring 2.02 and 3.04 on the Richter scale gently shook the area including the dam site on Friday last. The officials in charge of the reservoir spotted two minor cracks on it bottom, believed to have been caused by the latest tremor.


    Taking a serious note of the development, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has sent Revenue Minister Thiruvananchur Radhakrishnan with a team of engineers, scientists and disaster management experts to the area to review the situation and suggest urgent steps, if any required, to allay fear of the locals.


    Mullaperiyar dam was built when this part of Kerala was part of the Travancore princely state and Tamil Nadu under the Madras province under the British rule.


    The dam has since then been a major source irrigation for the agricultural belt of central Tamil Nadu districts.


    For the past two decades however, the dam has been a subject of hot dispute between the neighbouring states.


    While Kerala wants to decommission the structure and build a new one, that idea has not found favour with Tamil Nadu.


    Apart from local resistance groups, political parties on both sides have often taken aggressive postures on the issue.


    In 2006, Kerala government passed the Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation (Amendment) Act 2006, which prohibited the raising of water level beyond 136 ft in the Mulla Periyar Dam as it was placed under the Schedule of ‘Endangered Dams’.


    The Hindu : News / National : Recurrence of tremors causes concern over Mullaperiyar dam


    The Hindu : States / Kerala : Tremors rock Idukki district
     
  9. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I don't think the 999 year treaty remains valid post 1947. Current day realities and the impending disaster for want to action should drive a consensus and settlement.
     
  10. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

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    The issue is that one retarded CM renewed this strange deal in 1970.

    The river originates, flows completely inside Kerala. And nobody cares about the oldest dam which is on bring of collapse for the fear of political sensitivities.
     
  11. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    A new dam should be built and a new water sharing deal needs to be brokered between both states. If it start and ends in Kerala kerala should have major share of water.
     
  12. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

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  13. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

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  14. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    Hmm this is the Periyar river, it completely lies in Kerala. The treaty does seem unfair

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  15. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    On 29 October 1886, a lease indenture for 999 years was made between Maharaja of Travancore, Vishakham Thirunal and Secretary of State for India for Periyar irrigation works. The lease agreement was signed by Dewan of Travancore V Ram Iyengar and State Secretary of Madras State (under British rule) J C Hannington. This lease was made after constant pressure on Travancore King by the British for 24 years. The lease indenture inter alia granted full right, power and liberty to construct, make and carry out on the leased land and to use exclusively when constructed, made and carried out all such irrigation works and other works ancillary thereto to Secretary of State for India (now Tamil Nadu). The agreement was to give 8000 acres of land for the reservoir and another 100 acres to construct the dam. And the tax for each acre was 5 RS per year. When India became independent, the lease got expired. After several failed attempts to renew the agreement in 1958, 1960, and 1969, the agreement was renewed in 1970 when C Achutha Menon was Kerala Chief Minister. According to the renewed agreement, the tax per acre was 30 RS, and for the electricity generated in Lower Camp using Mullaperiyar water, the charge was 12 RS per kiloWatt per hour. This was without the consent of the Legislative Assembly of Kerala. This agreement expired in 2000. However, Tamil Nadu still uses the water and the land, and the Tamil Nadu government has been paying to the Kerala government for the past 50 years 2.5 lakhs Rs as tax per year for the whole land and 7.5 lakhs RS per year as surcharge for the total amount of electricity generated.

    So the 999 year agreement is not valid and also the 1970 renewal got expired in 2000.
     
  16. Dovah

    Dovah Untermensch Senior Member

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    And where's the Dam situated along its path?
     
  17. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yes your honor, as per your wish.
     
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  18. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

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  19. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    honour the wishes of others as well. :)
     
  20. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

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    The retarded LTTE sympathizer Vaiko off MDMK is in for front on making the situation volatile by disrupting goods travel at border check-posts and flaming it politically. All parties in TN uses it for their political mileage and yes we are even ready to give away all the water but only ask to spare lives of millions living down stream.

    The movie Dam999 has picked up the issue and medias have been notified to create awareness among the usually idle Keralite minds.

    Thankfully the masses responded and the political parties irrespective of their differences have taken it seriously. After all most of them hail from those regions.
     
  21. Dovah

    Dovah Untermensch Senior Member

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