15 Dec 2011


Mullaperiyar, or Mullaiperiyar Dam depending upon your loyalties, is a catastrophe in waiting. The adjoining info-graphic traces the history of the issue and lists the arguments given by the two conflicting states. Click on it to enlarge.

Being dependent upon water bodies flowing in through neighbouring states, Tamil Nadu has always been on logger heads with them. Its concerns are genuine as these rivers are mainstay for its economy, providing irrigation facilities for agriculture and power generation for the industries. However, Mullaperiyar is a case of much more grave concern for the state of Kerala.

Kerala government has been defending its case for a new dam on the basis of the ‘Precautionary Principle’ laid down in the famous Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (1992), of which India is a signatory.

Its Principle 15 states, “In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”

In the given case, the danger is not mere environmental degradation but major loss of human life and biodiversity.

In this scenario, the adamance being shown by the Tamil Nadu government is uncalled for. Not only is it denying Kerala’s demand for a new dam but is also not cooperating with the Center on this issue. Recently Jayalalithaa Government decided not to participate in the “informal discussion” on the dam dispute in New Delhi.

Moreover, Tamil Nadu moved the Supreme Court to restrain the Kerala Government from making any remark on de-commissioning of the dam or construction of a new one as it was allegedly creating a fear psychosis among the people.

At this juncture, it is important for Jayalalithaa Government to allay such fears if any by going an extra mile rather than rubbishing them altogether.

Meanwhile, Supreme Court, while asking both the states not to politicize the issue, has decided against Kerala's demand for reduction in water level from 136 ft. to 120 ft. Tamil Nadu Government must not regard this as a victory but help in restoring peace and normalcy in the region.

If steps are not taken to redress this issue at the earliest, any untoward incidence will be a blot on India’s federal polity.

Image Courtesy:


BK Chowla, said...

Political parties will never stop politics on issues of national importance.Both the states are aware of what is right and wrong,but are reaching out their respective constituancy.
In my opinion,Dr Kalam's suggestion is scientific and issues relating to water should be left to him to be solved.

Nasrajan said...

Hi Vipul,

I have been away from blogger world and blog-a-ton for long.

Your thoughts on the Mullapperiyar issue is much appreciated, it being from a person who is not a Kerala resident. (Or, am I wrong here?).

We, Keralites, sitting on a water bomb, don't care about politics. This should be considered as an issue of national importance and a dire crisis at hand.

Vipul Grover said...

Sorry frnds for sch a late response..

Chowlaji, I am not sure if u'll be reading this comment bt in case u end up doing sumhow, I'll like to know which suggestion by Kalam u talking about??
Well, its sad how politics is being played on this issue.. u r spot on..

Hi Nasrajan.. really nice 2 c u.. u r right, i m not a keralite but hail frm chandigarh.. bt as i m in chennai these days pursuing a journalism course, i m well aware of issues tht r in news and cover thm myslf as college assignmnts..