Mullaperiyar row: PM to play troubleshooter

Written by M Sarita Varma | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: Nov 30 2011, 08:46am hrs
As tensions between Kerala and Tamil Nadu escalate over the Mullaperiyar dam issue, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to don the mantle of a troubleshooter. The PM is likely to convene a meeting of the MPs from the two states soon.

The immediate trigger for public anxiety over the safety of Mullaperiyar dam the world's only surviving major surki-lime dam (a mix of clay, glue and lime) is the spate of seismic tremors in the Idukky district early this month. Sources told FE that Kerala governor is likely to call an emergency session of the assembly to firefight the crisis. In two separate delegations, Kerala and Tamil Nadu MPs have met the Prime Minister. Tamil Nadu has demanded that the 116-year-old Mullaperiyar dam should not only be kept alive, but also have its height raised for more water storage.

On Wednesday, Kerala is expected to commission IIT-Rourkee for a quick two-month status report on the post-tremor scenario at Mullaperiyar. Earlier IIT-Delhi had reported that the dam was 'hydrologically unsafe' in the event of heavy rainfall and floods.

Defence minister AK Antony said that the Prime Minister will soon step in with an amicable solution.