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Kerala MPs protest late-night release of water from Mullaperiyar

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Dec 07, 2021
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The MPs allege that Tamil Nadu authorities are playing with the lives of people in Kerala

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As Tamil Nadu Government opened nine gates of the Mullaperiyar dam early on Tuesday, many MPs from Kerala have started protests in Parliament against the move. The MPs allege that Tamil Nadu authorities are playing with the lives of people in Kerala as the shutters were opened without any warning.

Leader of Kerala Congress (Mani) Thomas Chazhikadan will protest in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament. "About 3.5 lakh litres of water flows from the Mullaperiyar dam in one second. The low lying areas along the banks of Periyar has flooded due to this unannounced decision. The water of the dam belongs to Tamil Nadu and no one opposes it. But the safety of people of Kerala should also be considered by the Tamil Nadu Government," Jose K Mani told BusinessLine.

Mani said he has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention on the issue. "To keep the water limit at 142 feet, the highest permissible limit as directed by the Supreme Court, the Tamil Nadu Government is releasing the water in the night creating panic among people in Kerala. They should release water during the daytime with proper notice. We will raise the issue in both the Houses of Parliament," he added.

Meanwhile, the Congress has given adjournment motion in Lok Sabha on the matter. Congress MP from Idukki Dean Kuriakose said the TamilNadu administration should take enough water towards their side and the water outflow through spillways towards downstream should be increased. "Right now, both of these operations are under the control of Tamil Nadu government. Kerala state is having no role in this management. This is leading to great trouble for people who live downstream. On Tuesday, after midnight, at 2:30 am, 8,000 cusecs of water was released through the spillways of Mullapperiyar without any intimation. This has created avoidable flooding and loss to property. This is not the first instance; this has been a continuing story. No initiative is taken, to resolve this," Kuriakose added.

Kerala has been maintaining that the dam, built in 19th century, is structurally unstable. The political parties in Kerala have also been arguing that the operation and management of the dam is done in an unsafe manner. The issue came up during a debate on the Sam Safety Bill in Rajya Sabha last week. While MPs from Kerala argued for the construction of a new dam considering the structural weakness of the old dam, the Tamil Nadu MPs pointed out that the Supreme Court had considered the issue and an expert panel has found that the dam is strong enough.

Published on December 07, 2021

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