PRAVASI MALAYALEE FEDERATION
MULLAPERIYAR Dam Issue !
We are signing this memorandum to show our strong support for building a new dam at Mullaperiyar, to save the people of Idukki and adjoining districts of Kerala who are likely to be affected if the Mullaperiyar dam bursts as apprehended.
1. Mullaperiyar Dam is constructed over the headwaters of the Periyar River in 1895 Kerala, India. It is operated by the Government of Tamil Nadu according to a 999-year lease agreement made during the British colonial rule. The dam was build with using stone and Surki (A mixture of sugar and calcium oxide) and the estimated life span of the dam was 50 years. The dam still holds 443.23 million cubic meter water and the water level is currently maintained at 136 feet.
2. There is a huge concern over this hundred years old dam as 5 thickly populated districts of Kerala (Idukki, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Patthanamthitta) are situated at the downstream. If Mullaperiyar dam fails, it would also pose a threat to a number of downstream dams including the famous Idukki dam (169.16 feet, 2000 M m3 capacity). More than 5million people will be wiped out and all the 5 districts will be under the water completely.
3. The earthquakes of magnitude 4.5 at Nedumkandam (1988), 4.3 at Wadakkanchery (1994), 5.0 at Periyar basin (2000) and the latest earthquake of magnitudes 3.4 on the Richter scale (18th Nov 2011) at Idukki, clearly justify the views of seismologists that the seismic activity in the regions has recently increased and it is necessary to assess the tectonic behaviour of the region to know the seismic safety of Mulla Periyar, Iddukki and other dams. A study carried out by Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkie, indicates that in the event of an earthquake with a magnitude of 6 on the Richter scale in the vicinity of the dam could wreck the dam.
4.Many cracks have already appeared at different places in the115-year-old Mullaperiyar dam. Officials of the Kerala Water Resources Department reported that the last tremors have causedmajor cracks in Block 17 and the joint of Block 17 and 18. The tremors have also caused water seepage through these cracks from the Mullaperiyar reservoir. A minimum of 15 mild tremors have hit the Idukki district, sitting on a faultline, in the past 15 months.
5.. If a tremour of 6 magnitude occurred in the vicinity of the Mullaperiyar dam, it would wreck the dam as per the study done by Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkie. The scientists of the Centre for Earth Science here had said that even a quake of magnitude five on the scale could lead to failure of the dam. The Central Water Commission had said as back as in 1979 that the dam was weak and had recommended lowering of the water level.
6. Four districts of Kerala are under severe threat and millions of people will be washed away if the dam collapses if there is an earthquake of high intensity.”Kerala Assembly passed a unanimous resolution on ‘Mullaperiyar Dam , all the political parties teamed up despite the ideological differences to adopt a resolution calling for a new dam in the place the existing 116 year old one at Mullaperiyar. The resolution had also a clause to lower the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam to 120 feet from the current 136 feet. 7. The Kerala Assembly passed a unanimous resolution on ‘Mullaperiyar Dam , all the political parties teamed up despite the ideological differences to adopt a resolution calling for a new dam in the place the existing 116 year old one at Mullaperiyar. The resolution had also a clause to lower the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam to 120 feet from the current 136 feet.
The resolution was moved by the Chief Minister of Kerala after an active discussion , the Assembly unanimously passed the resolution under the rule 275 expressing serious concern over the safety of millions of people residing downstream of the dam. The Chief Minister opined that the construction of a brand new dam in the location the existing structure is the only solution to resolve the issue without hurting anyone. Kerala does not want to harm the good relations with Tamil Nadu. Oommen Chandy reiterated that Kerala is ready to provide same amount of water from Mullaperiyar to Tamil Nadu after the construction of a new dam. He also added that it is sad that Tamil Nadu is not bothered about the safety of the people of their neighboring state..The Assembly members representing almost all political parties expressed their concern over the protection of the three million people living down stream of the dam. The frequent earthquakes in the region have made things more difficult. Citing the studies, they all indicated that the dam is very fragile and may not hold out against a major earthquake.
8.People of the area were not leading a normal and peaceful life and some of them had even started looking for relocation. Even students were reluctant to go to school. For millions of innocent people, it is nothing but a "tussle between the life and the death.” We are raising our voice and holding our hands together to get the maximum attention and to avoid the major disaster to our native and hence this memorandum.
Considering the gravity of the issue, we humbly request your kind intervention so that the life and property of millions can be saved .
Pravasi Malayalee Federation.