THE MULLAPERIYAR DAM
Over the past few days, I've read numerous reports about the Mullaperiyar Dam and I can't help but think of just one question "What exactly is the Central Government waiting for?"
For those that haven't been following the news here's a basic gist of what the issue is all about -> The Mullaperiyar Dam is located in the Idukki District in Kerala and was constructed in 1895 under the British Rule and due to an old agreement signed by the British Presidency and the Travancore Maharaja the water and all operations of the dam are controlled by Tamil Nadu for 999 years (Yes, Bata Prices!). And hence according to the agreement, Tamil Nadu don't just get all of the water they also get to take all the decisions!
A recent study by a team from IIT Rourkee shows that any earthquake above 6 on the Richter scale could lead to a major catastrophe in the area. Starting with about 30 lakh people losing their lives and most of the beauty of Kerala disappearing.
Jayalalitha, being the drama queen that she is, and numerous ill educated ministers like Vaiko believe that Kerala is just blowing the issue out of proportion and that Oommen Chandy is just looking for better press. Now though I get why they are skeptic and everything, I have just one small request -> Ladies and Gentlemen of the Tamil Nadu State Government, open your eyes and do read about what's happening before you go on record about all of this being an unnecessary waste of time.
Now, readers, please read the following pointers and decide for yourself as to whether the issue is blown out of proportion and trust me I'll try being as unbiased as i can be :-
1) There have been around 20 earth tremors since July 26th of this year, with their epicentres in the region surrounding the old dam.
2) One of these tremors measured 3.4 on Richter Scale.
3) Experts from IIT, Rourkee where called in to assess the situation by the Kerala State Government and they issued a very strong warning about the proneness of the region for earthquakes of cataclysmic magnitudes. Their report also indicated that there is a high possibility of an earthquake measuring up to 6.5 on the Richter scale around the Mullaperiyar dam. This will shake the very foundation of the ancient dam.
4) The dam already has numerous cracks and has shown signs of leakages in many parts.
5) The dam is 116 years old and is made of lime and surkhi(a mixture of sugar and calcium oxide). It's a miracle that it has stood for so long.
As if all of this was not enough, there were four more mild tremors reported in the Idukki area yesterday(26-11-11) with magnitudes of 2.7, 2.9, 1.4 and 1.7. Madam Jayalalitha and her associates in Tamil Nadu are yet to issue a statement regarding this.
The Kerala government, which has always been a popular one for the wrong reasons, has clearly stated that Tamil Nadu can still take all the water and that all Kerala wants is for Tamil Nadu to agree on the rebuilding project and reduce the water level so that the reconstruction can take place. To me, as a personal opinion, that seems pretty damn fair.
I agree the tremors have been of really small magnitude, but is it right to ignore ALL of these tremors and go on to call this a publicity stunt?
Isn't it always better to be safe than sorry?
How does one overlook scientific evidence and call it all a sham?
But the biggest question is - What on earth is more important than the lives of 30 Lakh Indians?
pics courtesy : The Mullaperiyar Dam by The Hindu and The Square Cut comic by Raja Hariharan