Tuesday, 13 December 2011

cool down on Mullaperiyar

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Tamil Nadu and Kerala to cautiously deal with the Mullaperiyar dam dispute and not add "fuel to fire". The court sternly warned the two states "sense and sensibility must prevail". The Tamil Nadu government has accused the Kerala government of whipping up a "fear psychosis" on Mullaperiyar row. A public campaign has been building up in Kerala demanding that a new dam built to replace the "dangerous one. The Supreme Court also asked the Centre to respond to petitions that central forces be deployed at the dam site. According to Kerala, the dam in its Idukki district - which meets the irrigation needs of southern Tamil Nadu - is fragile and poses grave danger. "Seven million people can get washed away if the dam collapses. Twenty-six tremors have been recorded at the site of the dam in the last 11 months," said State water resources minister PJ Joseph in November. Kerala wants to construct a new dam at the site to replace the old structure. It also wants the existing dam's storage height to be reduced from the current 136 feet to 120 feet. Tamil Nadu, which opposes a new dam, wants the storage height to be raised to 142 feet. According to the state, the lowering of the storage capacity of the dam earlier, at the behest of Kerala, had resulted in great losses.

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