The Mullaperiyar Dam Controversy.

Neuron

Electronic.
*i.imgur.com/MPTIC.jpg

The Mullaperiyar Dam has been a bone of contention between the TN and Kerala Governments. We trace the history of this controversy. Read the report to understand this issue.

Mullaperiyar Dam is constructed over the source of the Periyar River in Kerala, India. During the rule of the British in India a 999-year lease was made and accordingly, the Government of Tamil Nadu has been operating the dam. The Periyar National Park is located around the backwaters of this dam. The dam was built by British under the supervision of Benny Cook. The dam’s purpose was to divert the waters of the west-flowing Periyar River eastwards, since it caused widespread floods in the Travancore region, by constructing a masonry dam and diverting the water from the reservoir by way of a tunnel across the watershed and the Western Ghats to the rain shadow region of the Theni Sivaganga District and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu. The lease provided the British the rights over “all the waters” of the Mullaperiyar and its catchments, for an annual rent of Rs. 40,000. About 60,000 ha in Theni, Madurai, Sivaganga, Ramanathapuram, and Dindigul districts in present day Tamil Nadu were intended as beneficiaries of irrigation waters from Mullaperiyar. Water is brought through a 1.6 km long tunnel till the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border and then flows through open canals to Churuliyar river which feeds the Vaigai dam in Tamil Nadu. From there a network of canals take the water to the fields.

The dam’s reservoir level is the bone of contention between the Kerala and Tamil Nadu governments. Since 1970, Kerala has argued that the dam having outlived its life of 50 years is unsafe to maintain water at 46.3 metres—the full reservoir level—and it should be restricted to 41.45 metres. In 1979, the Central Water Commission (cwc)— the premier government agency dealing with dam safety—was asked to look into the matter; it suggested reduction of water level to 41.45 metres as an emergency measure along with other measures to strengthen the dam. Tamil Nadu agreed to this limit. Another committee headed by the then cwc chairperson B K Mittal was appointed in 2001 to look into the matter. It stated that the reservoir level be raised to 43.28 metres, after the strengthening measures were implemented. This was to be on an interim basis, and later reservoir levels could go up to the original level of 46.3 metres.

[color]The government of Tamil Nadu has proposed an increase in the storage level of the dam from the currently maintained 136 feet to 142 feet. The Kerala government has opposed this move, citing safety concerns for the more than hundred year old bridge and especially for the thickly populated districts downstream.[/color]

Kerala claims that the agreement was forced on the then princely State of Travancore presently, part of Kerala, but the pact was validated yet again in 1970 by Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been arguing about the Mullaperiyar dam built under a co-signed agreement in 1886 between the Maharaja of Travancore and the British authorities. The dam, which is located in the Idukki district of Kerala , serves the districts of Tamil Nadu which in recent years, has made demands that the storage capacity of the dam be increased from 136 feet (41.5 m) to 142 feet (43 m) to meet the rising demand of water needed for irrigation. However, Kerala is asking for the construction of a new dam saying that the existing structure had outlived its safety and longevity. Tamil Nadu, insists that raising water levels in Mullaperiyar’s reservoir is necessary to irrigate large tracts in the state.

In 1998, all Mullaperiyar-related cases were transferred to the Supreme Court which, in its order of February 2006, observed that the dispute is not a ‘water dispute’. It allowed raising the reservoir level to 43.28 metres and directed Tamil Nadu to carry out the strengthening measures suggested by cwc, and restrained Kerala from causing any obstruction.


In March 2006 Kerala’s Legislative Assembly passed the Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation Amendment Act, 2006. The amendment empowered Kerala’s Dam Safety Authority (kdsa)— a body mandated in 2003 by the original Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation Act—to evaluate safety of all dams in the state. It also has the power to advise the government to suspend the functioning or to decommission a dam if public safety demanded. Twenty two dams constructed during 1895-1963 including the Mullaperiyar dam were brought under kdsa’s jurisdiction. 41.45 metres was fixed as safe height for Mullaperiyar’s reservoir. Tamil Nadu took the matter back to the Supreme Court. It filed a petition on March 31, 2006 to declare the Kerala act as unconstitutional.

In July 2009, the Kerala government has claimed that with the building of a new dam, 1,300 feet downstream of the present Mullaperiyar reservoir, the safety of the people of Kerala can be a assured from the existing high-risk structure, which can fail at any time , endangering lives, according to news sources.

A detailed report of this issue had been presented to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking sanction for decommissioning of the existing dam and building a new one in its place.


In October 2009, the Chief Minister of Kerala V.S. Achuthanandan requested Tamil Nadu to be in agreement with its demand for a new dam at Mullaperiyar as the present one had become obsolete. According to news sources, he supported his stand by claiming that a recent study by IIT, Roorkee had discovered that the dam would collapse if at any time an earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale happened and that nearly forty lakh people who were fearfully anticipating this have to be reassured by allowing the new dam to be built.

But the beginning of 2010 saw Tamil Nadu once again rejecting the idea of constructing the new dam over the Periyar River. Kerala though seemed sure that it has every reason to be successful in its demand for a new dam because in 1979 the proposal had been cleared for approval by the Centre. This, according to them was agreed upon by Tamil Nadu which they claim took a step back later.


In Feb 2010, the Chief Minister of Kerala applauded the Supreme Court ruling demanding a review of the safety aspect of the Mullaperiyar. The apex court appointed a senior committee to study the safety of the dam, discuss increasing its water level above 136 feet and evaluate Kerala’s demand for a new dam. The Supreme Court appointed former chief justice of India A.S. Anand as the chairperson of a techno-legal panel formed to examine the strength and capacity of the more than a century old Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala.

In March 2010, according to news sources , Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said that Tamil Nadu would never give up its rights over the Mullaperiyar dam since that would create problems for farmers in that area.

People in Kerala feel that the 1886 deed should not be continued since it was forced upon the Travancore ruler. In 1970, Kerala did revise the original deed and got fishing rights. It also increased the rent to Rs 30 an acre (0.4 ha) from Rs 5, but water remained free for Tamil Nadu.

People in Tamil Nadu argue that Kerala is eyeing extra water from the Mullaperiyar reservoir to generate electricity. Power generation at the Idukki reservoir, downstream of the Mullaperiyar dam will come to a halt if the reservoir level is increased from 41.45 metres to 46.3 metres, Sadasivan points out. The Kerala government, however, maintains that the Idukki project was designed after discounting the 46.3 metres water storage in the Mullaperiyar dam.

Farmers in Tamil Nadu maintain that water rights have already been established during the past century and cannot be reverted. The Kerala government, however, argues that the gross area irrigated by the Mullaperiyar reservoir actually increased from 24,280 ha in 1896 to 69,200 ha in 1970-71 (when the water level was 46.3 metres) to 92,670 ha in 1994-95 (when water level was reduced to 41.45 metres). But Tamil Nadu claims that this is due to the modernisation of Periyar-Vaigai project, which reduced seepage losses by 6.7 thousand million cubic feet.

In April 2010, according to news sources, Chief Minister of Kerala V.S. Achuthanandan has urged the Centre to look into the Mullaperiyar dam issue as directed by the Supreme Court immediately. News sources said he had concerns about the delay in constituting the committee for looking into the Mullaperiyar dam issue in an official letter to the Prime minister, Mr. Manmohan Singh. He said that the Centre’s delay in the committee constitution would undermine the essence of the Supreme Court’s directive.

A.R. Lakshmanan on Mullaperiyar Panel 21.04.2010

Justice A.R. Lakshmanan, former Judge of the Supreme Court, will represent Tamil Nadu on the Empowered Committee to go into all issues, including the safety aspects, of the Mullaperiyar dam, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi told the Assembly on 21.04.2010.

Making a suo motu statement in the House, the Chief Minister said the State government had now decided to have its nominee on the panel since the outcome of the case in the Supreme Court was crucial for Tamil Nadu.

The committee, headed by Justice A.S. Anand, former Chief Justice of India, was appointed by a five-member bench of the Supreme Court.

The DMK took a stand against the panel and the general council meeting of the party on February 20 passed a resolution declaring that there was no need for Tamil Nadu to nominate its representative for the panel.

The Chief Minister said on March 8 Tamil Nadu filed a recall petition against the Empowered Committee in the Supreme Court, arguing that there was no need to appoint a new committee, since the court had already taken a decision on all aspects of the case. But on April 5, the Centre wrote to the State government, urging immediate nomination of a representative for the panel, in the wake of the dismissal of recall petition against the appointment of the Empowered Committee. On March 3, the Centre wrote to Tamil Nadu for appointment of a member for the panel.

Mr. Karunanidhi said the State government had also consulted the Advocate General before taking the decision on having its nominee on the panel.

Current Status.
Panic has spread among the residents of the central districts of Kerala after some cracks appeared recently in the 116-year-old Mullaperiyar dam in Idukki district,bordering Tamil Nadu.A recent study by Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee engineers pointed out that the dam would collapse if an earthquake of 6.4 magnitude on Richter scale struck it, the meeting pointed out.After lying dormant for a couple of years the issue has again come to the forefront in Kerala thanks to these successively recurring tremors shaking the region. Areas with large dams are prone to earthquakes due of the enormous weight of the collected water exerts on the Earth. As many as 22 recorded quakes have occurred in Idukki district around the Mullaperiyar project area during the past 8 months, out of which the two on Friday, November 18, measured 2.3 and 3.4 on the Richter Scale and were a mere 32 kilometers away from the dam. More visible cracks and fissures have started appearing on the dam, indicating it has been further weakened. But there is no exact data on the amount of seepage of water that has been escaping the dam as usual TN is downplaying the issue.Adding on to this, there was a tremor measuring 4.5 under the seabed off Lakshwadeep, whose tremors were felt in Trivandrum, 300 km away. All these earthquakes are making people jittery. And all the arguments by TN have been met by with counter arguments from Kerala.

The most frightening fact is that as expected the dam seems to be in pretty bad shape.Though the TN officials guarding the dam do not allow people to take photos of the dam to prevent exposing the true condition of the dam, some have sneaked in and managed to do so. When the water level falls below 115 feet, the horrifying real condition of the dam becomes visible with its corroded, cracked and decayed wall showing above the water level.The funniest fact is that, while the TN government claims the dam to be safe, it does not allow anyone to inspect the dam. It is preposterous that people from the Kerala government are not allowed to inspect territories which come under the boundaries of the Kerala state.

Sources:
Mullaperiyar Dam issue: PM to speak to Chandy, Jayalalithaa : North News - India Today
Kerala: Mullaperiyar dam is a disaster in waiting - Â*

Report of the examination committee.

It is reported that the examination conducted as per the instructions of the high power committee of the Supreme Court have found severe cracks on the Mullaperiyar dam. The cracks were found in the examinations conducted by the Central Soil and Material Research station from March 15 to May. Retired chief engineer M Sasidharan, who represented Kerala in the team, presented the detailed report to the state. The report was submitted on June 13 and the govt so far has not taken any action. The high power committee had stated that the report should not be published.

There are cracks found across the 1200 feet width of the dam and cracks (from 1 feet to 3.5 feet) found at a height from 95 feet to106 feet. In some places there are large holes. The concrete capping and cable anchoring done during 1979-81 to strengthen the dam, has weakened it. Sasidharan said instead of strengthening the dam, such procedures added pressure and that resulted in more cracks. There is also indication that earthquakes measuring 4 on the Ritcher scale may pose a threat to the dam.

On November 18, the tremor in Idukki measured 3.4. This resulted in more cracks. Senior scientist of CESS Dr John Mathai said that Idukki is prone to quakes measuring more than 6.5. There were 22 tremors in and around the Mullaperiyar areas after July 26.


M Sasidharan also said that huge quantity of lime surki, used in constructing the dam 115 years back, had dissolved in water. He also pointed out that Dr KC Thomas, chairman of Central Water Commission, had said in 1979 that the only solace is a new dam in Mullaperiyar.

Source:Mathrubhumi English - Mullaperiyar study report: Severe cracks found

In case the dam fails.
Should the dam fail, the catastrophe would be unimaginable, a disaster which cannot claim to draw parallels to any that has ever occurred in recorded human history, maybe save the China floods of 1931 which killed an estimated 4 million people. The Mullaperiyar dam is a gravity dam, which means it stands on it’s own weight. It will probably never break under it’s own weight or water pressure, but an earthquake can change everything, there is no telling what could happen. Surprisingly, no government has initiated any study or measurement as on what would happen if the dam gave way. But we can always try and see.

The water after breaching the Kulamavu and/or Cheruthoni dams will flow downhill roughly following the Periyar drainage basin with unimaginable speed and power. The valley starts immediately after the dams, and the terrain plunges from 700 meters above sea level to 50 meters in the matter of 20 km or so. The water will not be flowing, but crashing down steep slopes gaining momentum and energy, obliterating anything and everything in its way. The flow might follow the Moolamattom – Kanjar valley, the Periyar rift valley and so on. But it does not matter which route the wall of water several meters high is going to take, as it will carry with it such power that it will pulverize anything that stands in its way including hills and embankments. All this will be converted into rubble and piles of mud that the avalanche carries with it downstream, using it as a weapon to further destroy anything that comes in its path, burying everything: houses, buildings, vehicles, trees, vegetation, railway lines, roads, highways, people and animals under meters of mud. Areas around the Periyar basin will be absolutely devastated. As it passes across the plains of central Kerala, the wall of water will spread out till it reaches the Arabian Sea. Whatever the water picks up will be deposited everywhere along the way from Kulamavu till the Arabian sea, maybe from Kodungalloor in the north to Haripad in the south, forming a real Kerala triangle on the lines of the Bermuda Triangle. All those rubber plantations, the curvy snaky MC road and he huge houses people built up along it, many pilgrim centers (even Sabarimala will be in danger), the international Airport, Harbor, Naval Command and in short anything that has been built up in the path of the water will be flattened and crushed out of existence. All those houses people built up through a lifetime of toil, sweat and sacrifice will turn into their own watery, muddy graves.

No one knows or will know how many people will lose their lives in this inundation, but it is sure that Lakhs will die.It is estimated that 35 to 40 lakh people (3.5 to 4 million) living in the districts of Idukki, Ernakulam, Kottayam, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta will be affected with maybe Idukki and Ernakulam the most, including the city of Ernakulam-Kochi. Kerala’s financial and economic hub could be devastated. All this is apart from the carnage between the Mullaperiyar and Idukki dams and among the hills of Idukki district.

The danger does not come of flowing water alone, but also on what the water flow turns into. The water will shear away the topsoil, mud, rocks and sand lying its way downstream. Add to this all the other debris like vehicles, remains of buildings, roads, bridges, rail lines, vegetation and bodies of people and animals. The result will be that as the water gains ground, the water avalanche will be converted into a high-powered mudslide. And by the time it reaches the Arabian Sea (if it does), it will bury everything in its way under a couple of meters of muddy debris.

The aftermath.

Those who survive this initial devastation will be met my shortage of drinkable water, food and shelter. And if the bodies of those dead are not buried within 24 hours, the decay will lead to outburst of horrible communicable diseases. This is not the only suffering that will await the hapless survivors. Billions upon billions worth of property in all forms will be destroyed, along with the economy of the state and country. There will be no way for anyone to reach anywhere in the absence of roads and ways for communication. And this is not taking into account the long-term chaos that await them. All land records will be gone, as well as any source of economic sustainability. The financial nerve center of the state will disappear, along with the harbor and naval command. All this will put huge strain on the rest of the state and on the country, which will never have faced a disaster of this magnitude it its history, even at the time of partition. Then there are the cultural and psychological issues that await generations of Malayalees, in the form of the trauma of the incident. The entire culture of Central Travancore will be lost, with all of its population. The population of Kerala will be reduced by 10%. And with the IHeP gone, 60% of Kerala and 20% of TN will be in darkness.

And what will happen to Tamil Nadu? Apart from power cuts in industrially important districts, there will be some causalities from the dam failure as well, but nothing major and compared to what the future would hold. Building a new dam being now impossible, the water supply which had been keeping 7 districts of southern TN alive for more than a century will suddenly go dry and stay so for decades. Millions of people will perish in TN too under the unforgiving sun. And they as people will be burdened with the moral responsibility of the holocaust of 3.5 million people for all eternity.

The solution.
So, what’s the best solution to the vexed issue? Should the water level be raised beyond 136 ft as is being demanded by Tamil Nadu? Or should a new dam, as mooted by Kerala Government, be constructed?
If you ask former Supreme Court Justice K.T. Thomas, without even a moment’s hesitation he would say the one and only solution to the inter-state dispute is the construction of a new dam as it would serve interests of both parties.

Thomas is the Kerala nominee on the five-member High-Level Empowered Committee constituted by the Centre on Supreme Court direction to study and submit a detailed report.
Thomas maintained that if the dam fails in the rains, the damage would be quite high. “The water will flow into Idukki dam which too may breach since it can’t hold so much water,” he noted.
In such a scenario, it could trigger the world’s biggest indescribable and immeasurable disaster. “But, a new dam will ensure the safety of Kerala and also provide water to Tamil Nadu,'' he said.
Thomas also argued that it’s the moral responsibility of Kerala to provide water to Tamil Nadu even when a new dam is constructed. “The State is blessed with so much water. So, it’s to provide water to Tamil Nadu,” he said.
He said five districts of Tamil Nadu including Madurai, Kambam, Theni, Dindigul and Ramanathapuram depended on water from Mullaperiyar.

Source:A new dam is the only solution | Deccan Chronicle

Share your thoughts. :smile:
 
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sujoyp

Grand Master
Sorry I didnt read your long thoughts..

What I feel that if the Dam is 100+ years old then it would have been weak till now. And if crashing such a dam can cause soo much havoc then its better to make another dam very soon.

These politicians will play with the issue just as a election issue or a kerela-tamilnadu-karnataka issue ....but people living there r actually in grave danger.
 
OP
Neuron

Neuron

Electronic.
The dam should have been rebuilt atleast 20 years ago, if it weren't for these moronic politicians.
 

Baker

Albicelestes
The issue is about millions of human lives at risk not money or water. What if
a) Kerala agrees to build the new dam at our own expense.
b) The lease remains valid for the new dam also.
c) TN will get the same amount of water as of now.

Will TN agree to this?
 
OP
Neuron

Neuron

Electronic.
Someone create a tl;dr version?

I have highlighted the important ones.

The issue is about millions of human lives at risk not money or water. What if
a) Kerala agrees to build the new dam at our own expense.
b) The lease remains valid for the new dam also.
c) TN will get the same amount of water as of now.

Will TN agree to this?

Kerala has agreed on those 3 conditions.But since building a new dam will take a while,TN isn't willing to agree to the construction of a new dam.
 

reniarahim1

Youngling
Looks like TN govt doesn't care about the safety of the people. What would have been the situation if the Dam was in TN?
 

gopi_vbboy

Cyborg Agent
Good compilation dude

So why does TN have to interfere if the dam is in kerala? Is it cos of agreement?.If kerala is in danger because of the dam, they shud stop anything that may cause disaster.
 

ico

Super Moderator
Staff member
Most people don't give a damn mate except those living over there. This is a "low profile" issue. The retarded country only gives a damn about Lokpal and and FDI. Really sad.

sigh, people living in this country and the people ruling - both are idiots. My daily rant.

Why are we slow in fixing up things? Why do we let a problem to exist at the first place? This should have bene fixed 20 years ago.
 
OP
Neuron

Neuron

Electronic.
A new dam has to be built within 999 years anyway.So why waste time?Why don't build it already?
 

dhannyya

Right off the assembly line
Yes..Mullaperiyar dam should be rebuilt.

See the true facts and reality of Mullaperiyar dam controvery at

Mullaperiyar dam issue in Kerala: A detailed study

here you can see the depth of the Mullaperiyar controversy
 

Ronnie11

Judgement Time!!
*i.imgur.com/MPTIC.jpg

The Mullaperiyar Dam has been a bone of contention between the TN and Kerala Governments. We trace the history of this controversy. Read the report to understand this issue.

Mullaperiyar Dam is constructed over the source of the Periyar River in Kerala, India. During the rule of the British in India a 999-year lease was made and accordingly, the Government of Tamil Nadu has been operating the dam. The Periyar National Park is located around the backwaters of this dam. The dam was built by British under the supervision of Benny Cook. The dam’s purpose was to divert the waters of the west-flowing Periyar River eastwards, since it caused widespread floods in the Travancore region, by constructing a masonry dam and diverting the water from the reservoir by way of a tunnel across the watershed and the Western Ghats to the rain shadow region of the Theni Sivaganga District and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu. The lease provided the British the rights over “all the waters” of the Mullaperiyar and its catchments, for an annual rent of Rs. 40,000. About 60,000 ha in Theni, Madurai, Sivaganga, Ramanathapuram, and Dindigul districts in present day Tamil Nadu were intended as beneficiaries of irrigation waters from Mullaperiyar. Water is brought through a 1.6 km long tunnel till the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border and then flows through open canals to Churuliyar river which feeds the Vaigai dam in Tamil Nadu. From there a network of canals take the water to the fields.

The dam’s reservoir level is the bone of contention between the Kerala and Tamil Nadu governments. Since 1970, Kerala has argued that the dam having outlived its life of 50 years is unsafe to maintain water at 46.3 metres—the full reservoir level—and it should be restricted to 41.45 metres. In 1979, the Central Water Commission (cwc)— the premier government agency dealing with dam safety—was asked to look into the matter; it suggested reduction of water level to 41.45 metres as an emergency measure along with other measures to strengthen the dam. Tamil Nadu agreed to this limit. Another committee headed by the then cwc chairperson B K Mittal was appointed in 2001 to look into the matter. It stated that the reservoir level be raised to 43.28 metres, after the strengthening measures were implemented. This was to be on an interim basis, and later reservoir levels could go up to the original level of 46.3 metres.

[color]The government of Tamil Nadu has proposed an increase in the storage level of the dam from the currently maintained 136 feet to 142 feet. The Kerala government has opposed this move, citing safety concerns for the more than hundred year old bridge and especially for the thickly populated districts downstream.[/color]

Kerala claims that the agreement was forced on the then princely State of Travancore presently, part of Kerala, but the pact was validated yet again in 1970 by Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been arguing about the Mullaperiyar dam built under a co-signed agreement in 1886 between the Maharaja of Travancore and the British authorities. The dam, which is located in the Idukki district of Kerala , serves the districts of Tamil Nadu which in recent years, has made demands that the storage capacity of the dam be increased from 136 feet (41.5 m) to 142 feet (43 m) to meet the rising demand of water needed for irrigation. However, Kerala is asking for the construction of a new dam saying that the existing structure had outlived its safety and longevity. Tamil Nadu, insists that raising water levels in Mullaperiyar’s reservoir is necessary to irrigate large tracts in the state.

In 1998, all Mullaperiyar-related cases were transferred to the Supreme Court which, in its order of February 2006, observed that the dispute is not a ‘water dispute’. It allowed raising the reservoir level to 43.28 metres and directed Tamil Nadu to carry out the strengthening measures suggested by cwc, and restrained Kerala from causing any obstruction.


In March 2006 Kerala’s Legislative Assembly passed the Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation Amendment Act, 2006. The amendment empowered Kerala’s Dam Safety Authority (kdsa)— a body mandated in 2003 by the original Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation Act—to evaluate safety of all dams in the state. It also has the power to advise the government to suspend the functioning or to decommission a dam if public safety demanded. Twenty two dams constructed during 1895-1963 including the Mullaperiyar dam were brought under kdsa’s jurisdiction. 41.45 metres was fixed as safe height for Mullaperiyar’s reservoir. Tamil Nadu took the matter back to the Supreme Court. It filed a petition on March 31, 2006 to declare the Kerala act as unconstitutional.

In July 2009, the Kerala government has claimed that with the building of a new dam, 1,300 feet downstream of the present Mullaperiyar reservoir, the safety of the people of Kerala can be a assured from the existing high-risk structure, which can fail at any time , endangering lives, according to news sources.

A detailed report of this issue had been presented to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking sanction for decommissioning of the existing dam and building a new one in its place.


In October 2009, the Chief Minister of Kerala V.S. Achuthanandan requested Tamil Nadu to be in agreement with its demand for a new dam at Mullaperiyar as the present one had become obsolete. According to news sources, he supported his stand by claiming that a recent study by IIT, Roorkee had discovered that the dam would collapse if at any time an earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale happened and that nearly forty lakh people who were fearfully anticipating this have to be reassured by allowing the new dam to be built.

But the beginning of 2010 saw Tamil Nadu once again rejecting the idea of constructing the new dam over the Periyar River. Kerala though seemed sure that it has every reason to be successful in its demand for a new dam because in 1979 the proposal had been cleared for approval by the Centre. This, according to them was agreed upon by Tamil Nadu which they claim took a step back later.


In Feb 2010, the Chief Minister of Kerala applauded the Supreme Court ruling demanding a review of the safety aspect of the Mullaperiyar. The apex court appointed a senior committee to study the safety of the dam, discuss increasing its water level above 136 feet and evaluate Kerala’s demand for a new dam. The Supreme Court appointed former chief justice of India A.S. Anand as the chairperson of a techno-legal panel formed to examine the strength and capacity of the more than a century old Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala.

In March 2010, according to news sources , Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said that Tamil Nadu would never give up its rights over the Mullaperiyar dam since that would create problems for farmers in that area.

People in Kerala feel that the 1886 deed should not be continued since it was forced upon the Travancore ruler. In 1970, Kerala did revise the original deed and got fishing rights. It also increased the rent to Rs 30 an acre (0.4 ha) from Rs 5, but water remained free for Tamil Nadu.

People in Tamil Nadu argue that Kerala is eyeing extra water from the Mullaperiyar reservoir to generate electricity. Power generation at the Idukki reservoir, downstream of the Mullaperiyar dam will come to a halt if the reservoir level is increased from 41.45 metres to 46.3 metres, Sadasivan points out. The Kerala government, however, maintains that the Idukki project was designed after discounting the 46.3 metres water storage in the Mullaperiyar dam.

Farmers in Tamil Nadu maintain that water rights have already been established during the past century and cannot be reverted. The Kerala government, however, argues that the gross area irrigated by the Mullaperiyar reservoir actually increased from 24,280 ha in 1896 to 69,200 ha in 1970-71 (when the water level was 46.3 metres) to 92,670 ha in 1994-95 (when water level was reduced to 41.45 metres). But Tamil Nadu claims that this is due to the modernisation of Periyar-Vaigai project, which reduced seepage losses by 6.7 thousand million cubic feet.

In April 2010, according to news sources, Chief Minister of Kerala V.S. Achuthanandan has urged the Centre to look into the Mullaperiyar dam issue as directed by the Supreme Court immediately. News sources said he had concerns about the delay in constituting the committee for looking into the Mullaperiyar dam issue in an official letter to the Prime minister, Mr. Manmohan Singh. He said that the Centre’s delay in the committee constitution would undermine the essence of the Supreme Court’s directive.

A.R. Lakshmanan on Mullaperiyar Panel 21.04.2010

Justice A.R. Lakshmanan, former Judge of the Supreme Court, will represent Tamil Nadu on the Empowered Committee to go into all issues, including the safety aspects, of the Mullaperiyar dam, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi told the Assembly on 21.04.2010.

Making a suo motu statement in the House, the Chief Minister said the State government had now decided to have its nominee on the panel since the outcome of the case in the Supreme Court was crucial for Tamil Nadu.

The committee, headed by Justice A.S. Anand, former Chief Justice of India, was appointed by a five-member bench of the Supreme Court.

The DMK took a stand against the panel and the general council meeting of the party on February 20 passed a resolution declaring that there was no need for Tamil Nadu to nominate its representative for the panel.

The Chief Minister said on March 8 Tamil Nadu filed a recall petition against the Empowered Committee in the Supreme Court, arguing that there was no need to appoint a new committee, since the court had already taken a decision on all aspects of the case. But on April 5, the Centre wrote to the State government, urging immediate nomination of a representative for the panel, in the wake of the dismissal of recall petition against the appointment of the Empowered Committee. On March 3, the Centre wrote to Tamil Nadu for appointment of a member for the panel.

Mr. Karunanidhi said the State government had also consulted the Advocate General before taking the decision on having its nominee on the panel.

Current Status.
Panic has spread among the residents of the central districts of Kerala after some cracks appeared recently in the 116-year-old Mullaperiyar dam in Idukki district,bordering Tamil Nadu.A recent study by Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee engineers pointed out that the dam would collapse if an earthquake of 6.4 magnitude on Richter scale struck it, the meeting pointed out.After lying dormant for a couple of years the issue has again come to the forefront in Kerala thanks to these successively recurring tremors shaking the region. Areas with large dams are prone to earthquakes due of the enormous weight of the collected water exerts on the Earth. As many as 22 recorded quakes have occurred in Idukki district around the Mullaperiyar project area during the past 8 months, out of which the two on Friday, November 18, measured 2.3 and 3.4 on the Richter Scale and were a mere 32 kilometers away from the dam. More visible cracks and fissures have started appearing on the dam, indicating it has been further weakened. But there is no exact data on the amount of seepage of water that has been escaping the dam as usual TN is downplaying the issue.Adding on to this, there was a tremor measuring 4.5 under the seabed off Lakshwadeep, whose tremors were felt in Trivandrum, 300 km away. All these earthquakes are making people jittery. And all the arguments by TN have been met by with counter arguments from Kerala.

The most frightening fact is that as expected the dam seems to be in pretty bad shape.Though the TN officials guarding the dam do not allow people to take photos of the dam to prevent exposing the true condition of the dam, some have sneaked in and managed to do so. When the water level falls below 115 feet, the horrifying real condition of the dam becomes visible with its corroded, cracked and decayed wall showing above the water level.The funniest fact is that, while the TN government claims the dam to be safe, it does not allow anyone to inspect the dam. It is preposterous that people from the Kerala government are not allowed to inspect territories which come under the boundaries of the Kerala state.

Sources:
Mullaperiyar Dam issue: PM to speak to Chandy, Jayalalithaa : North News - India Today
Kerala: Mullaperiyar dam is a disaster in waiting - Â*

Report of the examination committee.

It is reported that the examination conducted as per the instructions of the high power committee of the Supreme Court have found severe cracks on the Mullaperiyar dam. The cracks were found in the examinations conducted by the Central Soil and Material Research station from March 15 to May. Retired chief engineer M Sasidharan, who represented Kerala in the team, presented the detailed report to the state. The report was submitted on June 13 and the govt so far has not taken any action. The high power committee had stated that the report should not be published.

There are cracks found across the 1200 feet width of the dam and cracks (from 1 feet to 3.5 feet) found at a height from 95 feet to106 feet. In some places there are large holes. The concrete capping and cable anchoring done during 1979-81 to strengthen the dam, has weakened it. Sasidharan said instead of strengthening the dam, such procedures added pressure and that resulted in more cracks. There is also indication that earthquakes measuring 4 on the Ritcher scale may pose a threat to the dam.

On November 18, the tremor in Idukki measured 3.4. This resulted in more cracks. Senior scientist of CESS Dr John Mathai said that Idukki is prone to quakes measuring more than 6.5. There were 22 tremors in and around the Mullaperiyar areas after July 26.


M Sasidharan also said that huge quantity of lime surki, used in constructing the dam 115 years back, had dissolved in water. He also pointed out that Dr KC Thomas, chairman of Central Water Commission, had said in 1979 that the only solace is a new dam in Mullaperiyar.

Source:Mathrubhumi English - Mullaperiyar study report: Severe cracks found

In case the dam fails.
Should the dam fail, the catastrophe would be unimaginable, a disaster which cannot claim to draw parallels to any that has ever occurred in recorded human history, maybe save the China floods of 1931 which killed an estimated 4 million people. The Mullaperiyar dam is a gravity dam, which means it stands on it’s own weight. It will probably never break under it’s own weight or water pressure, but an earthquake can change everything, there is no telling what could happen. Surprisingly, no government has initiated any study or measurement as on what would happen if the dam gave way. But we can always try and see.

The water after breaching the Kulamavu and/or Cheruthoni dams will flow downhill roughly following the Periyar drainage basin with unimaginable speed and power. The valley starts immediately after the dams, and the terrain plunges from 700 meters above sea level to 50 meters in the matter of 20 km or so. The water will not be flowing, but crashing down steep slopes gaining momentum and energy, obliterating anything and everything in its way. The flow might follow the Moolamattom – Kanjar valley, the Periyar rift valley and so on. But it does not matter which route the wall of water several meters high is going to take, as it will carry with it such power that it will pulverize anything that stands in its way including hills and embankments. All this will be converted into rubble and piles of mud that the avalanche carries with it downstream, using it as a weapon to further destroy anything that comes in its path, burying everything: houses, buildings, vehicles, trees, vegetation, railway lines, roads, highways, people and animals under meters of mud. Areas around the Periyar basin will be absolutely devastated. As it passes across the plains of central Kerala, the wall of water will spread out till it reaches the Arabian Sea. Whatever the water picks up will be deposited everywhere along the way from Kulamavu till the Arabian sea, maybe from Kodungalloor in the north to Haripad in the south, forming a real Kerala triangle on the lines of the Bermuda Triangle. All those rubber plantations, the curvy snaky MC road and he huge houses people built up along it, many pilgrim centers (even Sabarimala will be in danger), the international Airport, Harbor, Naval Command and in short anything that has been built up in the path of the water will be flattened and crushed out of existence. All those houses people built up through a lifetime of toil, sweat and sacrifice will turn into their own watery, muddy graves.

No one knows or will know how many people will lose their lives in this inundation, but it is sure that Lakhs will die.It is estimated that 35 to 40 lakh people (3.5 to 4 million) living in the districts of Idukki, Ernakulam, Kottayam, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta will be affected with maybe Idukki and Ernakulam the most, including the city of Ernakulam-Kochi. Kerala’s financial and economic hub could be devastated. All this is apart from the carnage between the Mullaperiyar and Idukki dams and among the hills of Idukki district.

The danger does not come of flowing water alone, but also on what the water flow turns into. The water will shear away the topsoil, mud, rocks and sand lying its way downstream. Add to this all the other debris like vehicles, remains of buildings, roads, bridges, rail lines, vegetation and bodies of people and animals. The result will be that as the water gains ground, the water avalanche will be converted into a high-powered mudslide. And by the time it reaches the Arabian Sea (if it does), it will bury everything in its way under a couple of meters of muddy debris.

The aftermath.

Those who survive this initial devastation will be met my shortage of drinkable water, food and shelter. And if the bodies of those dead are not buried within 24 hours, the decay will lead to outburst of horrible communicable diseases. This is not the only suffering that will await the hapless survivors. Billions upon billions worth of property in all forms will be destroyed, along with the economy of the state and country. There will be no way for anyone to reach anywhere in the absence of roads and ways for communication. And this is not taking into account the long-term chaos that await them. All land records will be gone, as well as any source of economic sustainability. The financial nerve center of the state will disappear, along with the harbor and naval command. All this will put huge strain on the rest of the state and on the country, which will never have faced a disaster of this magnitude it its history, even at the time of partition. Then there are the cultural and psychological issues that await generations of Malayalees, in the form of the trauma of the incident. The entire culture of Central Travancore will be lost, with all of its population. The population of Kerala will be reduced by 10%. And with the IHeP gone, 60% of Kerala and 20% of TN will be in darkness.

And what will happen to Tamil Nadu? Apart from power cuts in industrially important districts, there will be some causalities from the dam failure as well, but nothing major and compared to what the future would hold. Building a new dam being now impossible, the water supply which had been keeping 7 districts of southern TN alive for more than a century will suddenly go dry and stay so for decades. Millions of people will perish in TN too under the unforgiving sun. And they as people will be burdened with the moral responsibility of the holocaust of 3.5 million people for all eternity.

The solution.
So, what’s the best solution to the vexed issue? Should the water level be raised beyond 136 ft as is being demanded by Tamil Nadu? Or should a new dam, as mooted by Kerala Government, be constructed?
If you ask former Supreme Court Justice K.T. Thomas, without even a moment’s hesitation he would say the one and only solution to the inter-state dispute is the construction of a new dam as it would serve interests of both parties.

Thomas is the Kerala nominee on the five-member High-Level Empowered Committee constituted by the Centre on Supreme Court direction to study and submit a detailed report.
Thomas maintained that if the dam fails in the rains, the damage would be quite high. “The water will flow into Idukki dam which too may breach since it can’t hold so much water,” he noted.
In such a scenario, it could trigger the world’s biggest indescribable and immeasurable disaster. “But, a new dam will ensure the safety of Kerala and also provide water to Tamil Nadu,'' he said.
Thomas also argued that it’s the moral responsibility of Kerala to provide water to Tamil Nadu even when a new dam is constructed. “The State is blessed with so much water. So, it’s to provide water to Tamil Nadu,” he said.
He said five districts of Tamil Nadu including Madurai, Kambam, Theni, Dindigul and Ramanathapuram depended on water from Mullaperiyar.

Source:A new dam is the only solution | Deccan Chronicle

Share your thoughts. :smile:

Thanks for the info..didn't know the full history...
 

asingh

Aspiring Novelist
They will rather focus on closing down ready to run Nuclear Power Plants, which took ~10 years to deploy.
 

ylob2004

Right off the assembly line
Youtube videos:

The comprehensive video brought by the Retd Engineers of PWD of TN.

PART 1 :

The Mullai Periyar Dam real story- Part 1 + English Subtitles - YouTube

PART 2 :

The Mullai Periyar Dam real story- Part2 + English Subtitles - YouTube


Face Book Page:

*www.facebook.com/pages/Save-...ref=nf&sk=wall
 
OP
Neuron

Neuron

Electronic.
So according to the video the news about the tremors that had happened is a joke.The expert opinion from IIT Delhi and IIT Roorki stating that the dam will not withhold a serious tremor is a joke.Recent earth quakes that hit 5.5 on the richter scale actually didn't happen.Kerala government is spreading false news just because they are in utter need of electricity.Do you believe all this?Does TN expect this dam to serve water for the whole 999 years?

Don't forget Kerala gets plenty of rainfall throughout the year.And Mullaperiyar is not the only place where a new dam can be built.If there were such a demand for electricity,I am sure that a new dam can be built else where.And neither did the government say that Kerala won't provide water after the new dam is constructed.
 

ajaybc

Youngling
I made a facebook app for Mullaperiyar called God Damn Dam :). Please do check it out God Da*n Dam on Facebook | Facebook
 
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