The “Mullai Periyaar Dam”, as it is known to you and as “Mullaperiyaar” to us was commissioned in 1895 and has been greening acres of land in Tamil Nadu since then. Located completely inside the boundaries of Kerala, the dam and its associated properties are under the Govt of Tamil Nadu ever since independence.
A pre-independence contract being honoured after 1947 and even availing more benefits through a supplementary agreement that permits generation of power from the water at Mullaperiyaar can be only addressed as an act of generosity from Kerala towards Tamil Nadu, and more importantly on lease rent of a few lakhs in total, while you all know the benefits for Tamil Nadu comes to several billions annually.
Today, your advertisement in the English dailies published across south India describes a whole lot of things about the strengthening works carried out by the Govt. of Tamil Nadu. There had been mention about three dams; from U.K, France and the U.S that stands after over 100 years. None of the three dams mentioned in your letter was constructed with lime mortar, and lime is a highly degradable material as we all have seen in our high school chemistry, and in case of Mullaperiyaar, the seepage water from the dam and you know it is decomposing heavily as the lime mass is clearly seen in chunks. And talking about the detailed strengthening activities, filling in cables and steel wires cannot make a huge structure like a dam trustable strong.
Your people are very skilled at handwork as we all know and that’s evident on the upper portion of the dam which is beautifully patched. But once when the water levels had fell low, we could see stones; only stones, on the outside without even a plastering. Also it’s hard to believe the existing lime mortar will bond with the concrete used for patchworks. Seismic forces may not damage those cable structures and they may stand strong, as the original dam structure that’s cracked and damaged falls apart. No standing construction as heavy as a dam or even a small building in such a terrible condition can be ‘strengthened’ with such patchworks, they can only be beautified till its failure. And here a failure wouldn’t be like a mere building collapse. Nowhere did I see a mention about the fact that the builders of the dam had predicted to it a life span of 50 years. You mentioned dams that stood for long but forgot to mention dams that failed on a long run. There’s a huge list in Wikipedia. Also your note says the seepage water is measured constantly, then why are your officials denying information on the same to Kerala? What are you hiding from us?
And now coming into court procedures and legal battles, where you claim to hold an upper edge. The matter is still being discussed across as a kind of ‘water dispute’ in the national perspective. Recently as the issue heated up again after public uprises followed by political fraternities opening their eyes, you made a statement, regarding the rewards paid off to politicians and officials in Kerala to let you have that ‘upper edge’. Your Govt. even quote a sum of crores in the budget you’re your “Mullai Periyaar” and say now that its to purchase our officials, it’s a daylight act of law breaching, and again saying we are winning in courts is shameful and this statement is enough for you to lose in this case. But since you have already ensured the support of our officials at court, you may not. While you declare solidly that the dam is safe, why would you have to bribe our officials to take a weak stand to get that upper edge? Again you are hiding facts, this time from the eyes of judiciary and that’s unconstitutional.
Now the great theories that you have proposed regarding the topic ‘what if the dam collapse?’ Firstly when you are trying to convince us that the dam is ‘safe as new’ there is not even scope for such a question, and when you still explain it, the uncertainty on your stand has been proved evident by yourself. And your explanations here are absolutely ridiculous to be most polite. First of all the statement that human settlements are much above the reach of flood waters is the worst of it all. Nobody settles on top of a hill but in the valleys only, and the Periyaar valley inhabits many thousands of people on its banks where even an overflow of the dam could bring in floods; then in case of a collapse what would happen it’s unthinkable. 11 TMC of water let loose, downhill, you may not be able to predict its momentum. It may not just flow along Periyaar River but in other directions too, and make matters worse. So even if Idukki dam withstands the flood as you people explain, the end result of will be terrible as a huge area and lakhs of people will end up in Idukki reservoir. But you should understand the fact that its not like pouring water into a jug that technically can contain its volume. The momentum of such a huge amount of water along with whatever it sweeps along its way from Mullapperiyaar will have a huge impact on the dam, and if that impact is just enough to break it, that would wash off the entire Central Kerala and its people into the Arabian sea. God has been kind on us to keep things in tact till date as the decision making humans keep their ears closed. But, till when?
Your findings on land encroachments may be correct, and that’s none of my business. I’m writing this as a common citizen who has been denied the right to live with a secure feeling on the soil of this nation. The happenings across Tamil Nadu on this issue may be taken to notice by the hon’ble chief minister before appealing to us about succumbing to divisive forces and maintaining cordial relations. I don’t own a resort on the banks of Periyaar Lake but I have a home 100kms downhill of that dam which you are strengthening each day with money and influence. So on behalf of my brothers and sisters who share the same feeling, I reject your appeal with all due disrespect to whatever manipulated and made up theories and figures that you have put forward.
An Indian whom you’re forcing to be more of a Keralite.