November 28th, 2011
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Mullaperiyar issue, protests intensifies

MullaperiyarIdukki: The fear among those living around Mullaperiyar builds even as the water level rises to dangerous levels. Spontaneous protests have erupted in various places. The anxious crowd are seeking an immediate solution to the Mullaperiyar issue. The UDF and the LDF have joined hands with the people and will observe a 12-hour hartal in Idukki district today to highlight the need for urgent action to solve the Mullaperiyar dam issue. Roshy Augustine , Idukki MLA and Kerala Congress (M) leader, will stage a dharna today, while his party colleagues will lead protests in five districts, including Idukki.

A motor strike will be held at the Kumily check post. Following the block on the National Highway all traffic has come to a stand still. sources state that serpentine queue of vehicles are found stranded on the road. Vehicles of Shabarimala Devotess from Tamil Nadu have been blocked by agitators. Later they were allowed to pass through. Peerumade MLA and Communist Party of India leader, ES Bijimol has entered into the second day of her indefinite strike.  Mullaperiyar protest Chairman Prof CP Roy and secretary Shaji P are continuing with their fast unto death.

Mullaperiyar water level has touched 136.5 feet, the maximum level stipulated by the Central Water Commission, on Sunday morning and started overflowing into the Kerala side to the Idukki reservoir. In a day the water has risen by four feet. As the water level has risen to 136.5  feet the government has opened two shutters to allow the excess water to flow out as the dam cannot hold more water.The water is being let out through 1,2 spill way.

Ayappankovil, Uppathara, Kanchiaru villages have been issued a high alert warning notice, said District Collector Devdas. The collector has also confirmed that the water level has risen to 136 feet. Due to heavy rains 10,000 volume ground water is said to have flown into the dam which has raised the water level to 136 feet spreading  panic among the people.

The district authorities issued the third warning to those living on the banks of the Periyar since there were chances of the water level rising as the overflow intensified in the coming days. Sources claim that they are trying to direct as much water as possible to Tamil Nadu. Kerala is expecting the North East Monsoon to set in. Heavy downpour and mild tremors could be detrimental to the 116 year old dam.Locals from Ayappankovil, Uppathara, Kanchiaru villages are holding a hartal on today demanding an immediate solution to the Mullaperiyar issue. In Vandipara the National Highway will be blocked.

Kerala Water Resources Minister P J Joseph and Revenue Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan will leave for New Delhi tomorrow to apprise the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the state’s apprehensions and other aspects of the Mullaperiyar dam. The Kerala ministers intend to meet Minister of Water Resources & Parliamentary Affairs Pawan Bansal, Defense Minister AK Antonyome Minister Chidambaram.The ministers are also trying to have a direct meeting with the Prime Minister and would try to convince him to take immediate action and resolve the issue.


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