Before starting with this post let me say this. I or we have great respect towards Tamil people for various reasons. We depend on you for our food (Raw materials including 70 per cent of our vegetable requirements) and lot other things so there is a situation that we cannot live without you guys. As Tamil is the mother of Malayalam which is the mother-tongue of Kerala, There is no regional or lingual reasons for hate. Also racially (I hate to say this word) we are all Dravidian.
I live in the western part of Thrissur district, Kerala. My blog has been carrying a badge you can see on the left called “Re-Build Mullaperiyar Dam” for nearly two years. When I thought about putting this up in a blog, I never knew even the place I and my family resides is also under threat. The reason why I put it up was like… hmm well, I don’t know, but it definitely wasn’t for testing the WordPress text widget.
Now a days, I can feel that things have changed. The recent tremors and the predictions for the coming ones are making us more aware and worried. A protest that has been going on in Mullaperiyar area demanding a new dam has passed 2000 days. People in social networks also trying their part to get the attention of national media. A few celebrities like director Ashique Abu, actress Rima Kallingal, rock band Avial also came forward for this cause. It should be noted that none of these protests are against Tamilnadu or Tamilians, but for one of the fundamental rights given by the Indian constitution: “the right to live”.
Here from what I could understand, the main problem is the worry over the updates in cost of lease if a new dam is to be constructed. If it is to be constructed my Tamilnadu, you can get rid of that, but will have to spend money for dam construction and hence not interested in that. Fine, no offense! Now, When Kerala build a new dam, even a committee from Tamilnadu cannot fix a lease agreement as absurd as the previous one and everyone is aware of that. So its not basically about Tamilnadu being denied of water, but a fear of having to pay more than current value when a new dam is constructed.
What if Kerala is to agree on a similar lease agreement for the new dam? Will you allow us to build it? How much time does it take to build a new one? I don’t think a new dam can be built by keeping the water level like that in the old one. So during the period of constuction, Tamilnadu may lose a portion of water which it might get. But TN government must understand the fear of 3 million people living downstream. The supreme court’s verdict can take time. It might be difficult to get a clear technical statement on how secure the dam is. But nature has its own ways. It won’t do any paper work or consult any of these technical or legal experts before its action. Even if the chance of a crisis is 1%, that is a strong reason to worry. I hope you can understand our situation by reading this together with the risk of Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant you face and I want to let you know that same is our sentiments regarding Mullaperiyar.
Tamilnadu can argue in the court that its taking measures for strengthening the dam by doing some cosmetics, demand stays and stretch the whole thing a lot further. But remember that if you are milking a cow when it is sick, you are killing it. Take all our water, but find some alternatives until we finish the new dam. After that, its all yours. Do us a favor and help save lives of both of us.