Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Why is Kerala worried about Mullapperiyar dam?
Is it about water?
Is it about electricity?
Is it about money?
Do they have a problem with Tamilnadu or any one else benefiting from the dam?
Then what are they concerned about?
They are concerned about the lives of about 40 lakh people living directly in the path of destruction in the event of a dam collapse.
What are the chances of this dam collapsing?
The Mullapperiyar dam built in 1895 using surki lime mixture is 115 years old and has exceeded its expected life by more than 60 years. Over the years several cracks have appeared on the dam through which water is leaking and several attempts to reinforce the dam in the past had failed. The dam happens to be sitting on a highly earthquake prone seismic fault line and minor tremors are common in the area. The dam will certainly collapse in the event of a major quake if not by further deterioration in the coming years.
What will happen then?
The water stored up in the dam will rush down towards Arabian sea destroying everything in its path including the lives and properties of lakhs of people living in 4 districts. The destructive energy of the water bomb unleashed will be several times stronger than that of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima. There won't be enough time for evacuation or rescue.
Who should be concerned?
Everyone. Kerala has to worry about the lives of its people while Tamilnadu has to worry about the water also since there won't be any more water without the dam.
What is to be done?
Our immediate concern should be safety of the dam. Other legal disputes can be settled through litigation and by maintaining status quo but human lives should not be at risk while we do that. We should spread awareness about the gravity of this danger and people should realise that the issue is about human lives at risk and not about a petty water sharing dispute between two states.
Whether we repair the dam or replace it with a new one Tamilnadu should continue to get water and Keralites should be able to live without worrying about this ticking water bomb. The first step to that solution is understanding what the issue is really about and not letting petty regionalism and politics come in its way. Please spread the word. Let us stop a disaster before it happens.