Malayalam Actor Prithviraj Sukumaran Calls For Decommissioning Mullaperiyar Dam That Serves As Lifeline Of 5 Tamil Nadu Districts

by Swarajya Staff - Oct 25, 2021 12:53 PM
Malayalam Actor Prithviraj Sukumaran Calls For Decommissioning Mullaperiyar Dam That Serves As Lifeline Of 5 Tamil Nadu DistrictsActor Prithviraj Sukumaran
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  • Leading Malayalam actor Prithviraj Sukumaran took to Twitter calling for 'decommissioning' the Mullaperiyar dam.

    The waters from the dam irrigate the five districts of Theni, Dindigul, Madurai, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram in Tamil Nadu. Using the dam's waters that flow through a main canal and 18 sub-canals into Tamil Nadu, farmers in the five districts cultivate paddy, sugarcane, banana, grapes, coconut, vegetables, a variety of pulses and cotton. The dam also supplies drinking water to people in these semi-arid districts of Tamil Nadu.

Leading Malayalam actor Prithviraj Sukumaran took to Twitter calling for 'decommissioning' the Mullaperiyar dam.

“Regardless of what the facts and findings are or will be, there is no reason or excuse for this 125 year old dam to exist as a functioning structure! It’s about time we put politics and economics aside and do what is right. We can only trust the system, and let’s pray that the system makes the right decision!” tweeted Prithviraj.

The Mullaperiyar dam, fed by the Periyar river, is situated in Kerala. The waters from the dam irrigate the five districts of Theni, Dindigul, Madurai, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram in Tamil Nadu. Using the dam's waters that flow through a main canal and 18 sub-canals into Tamil Nadu, farmers in the five districts cultivate paddy, sugarcane, banana, grapes, coconut, vegetables, a variety of pulses and cotton. Mullaperiyar dam catered for the cultivation of a variety of crops on more than 13 lakh acres. The dam also supplies drinking water to people in these semi-arid districts of Tamil Nadu.

Originally constructed by Major John Pennycuick of the Madras Regiment in 1895, Tamil Nadu government took several measures in the 80's to strengthen the dam.

Tamil Nadu and Kerala have a long running dispute over the safety of the Mullaperiyar dam.

The Kerala government has often alleged that the Mullaperiyar dam is weak and claims that it will collapse if an earthquake rocks Idukki district. Kerala also fears that lives of 35 lakh people in the five districts of Idukki, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta would be affected if the dam were to burst.

Tamil Nadu government continues to maintain that dam is strong.

Tamil Nadu has also accused the the Kerala government of indulging in misleading propaganda about the dam's safety for the purposes of generating electricity from the Idukki dam, situated 50 km downstream of the Mullaperiyar dam.

in Feb 2006, Supreme Court of India ruled that there is no report to suggest that the safety of the dam would be jeopardised if the water level is raised for the present to 142 feet.

In response to the Supreme Court ruling, Kerala passed a new law to prevent the raising of the water level beyond 136 ft.

In May 2014, a five-member Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court permitted the Tamil Nadu government to raise the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam to 142 feet from 136 feet.

It also declared “unconstitutional” the law passed by the Kerala Assembly in 2006 that rendered the apex court judgment on the issue in 2006 redundant.

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