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DTH News : Mullapperiyar Dam Row - Discussion and Updates
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#1
So, the Mullapperiyar Dam row heats up as never before. I think its high time to have a discussion thread on this topic. Have all your talks and viewpoints here...
Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.. for tomorrow never comes.. live today!!!
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#2
Some details about Mullapperiyar Dam from Wikipedia

Mullaperiyar Dam
Mullaiperiyar Dam is a masonry gravity dam on the Periyar River[1]. It is located 881 m (2,890 ft) above mean sea level on the Cardamom Hills of Western Ghats in Thekkadi, Idukki District of Kerala, India. It was constructed between 1887 and 1895 by the British Government to divert water eastwards to Madras Presidency area (the present-day Tamil Nadu). It has a height of 53.6 m (176 ft) from the foundation and length of 365.7 m (1,200 ft).[1] The Periyar National Park, Thekkady is located around the dam's reservoir. The dam and the river are located in Kerala, but the dam is controlled and operated by Tamil Nadu[1]. The safety of the dam has been a matter of concern and a point of dispute between Kerala and Tamil Nadu States.

Purpose
The geography of the Periyar river which flows westward into the Arabian Sea had suggested to engineers in the first decade of the nineteenth century that the river waters could be diverted eastward to flow towards the Bay of Bengal and provide water to the arid Madurai region of Madras Presidency which was in dire need for a greater supply than the small Vaigai River could give.[4] The dam, finally constructed in 1895, created the Periyar Thekkady reservoir, from which water was diverted eastwards to Tamil Nadu via a tunnel enabling the water to join the Vaigai River which was dammed to provide a source for irrigating large tracts of Madurai. Initially the dam waters were used only for irrigation. Later, the Periyar Power Station in Lower Periyar, Tamil Nadu was built which generates hydro-electricity from the diverted waters.[6]

Dam construction
The location of the dam had first been scouted by Captain J. L. Caldwell, Madras Engineers (abbreviated as M.E.) in 1808 to reconnoitre the feasibility of providing water from the Periyar river to Madurai by a tunnel through the mountains. Caldwell discovered that the excavation needed would be in excess of 100 feet in depth and the project was abandoned with the comment in his report as "decidedly chimerical and unworthy of any further regard".[4]

The first attempt at damming the Periyar with an earthen dam in 1850 was given up due to demands for higher wages by the labour citing unhealthy living conditions.[7] The proposal was resubmitted a number of times and in 1862, Captain J. G. Ryves, M.E., carried out a study and submitted proposals in 1867 for another earthwork dam, 62 feet high. The matter was debated by the Madras Government and the matter further delayed by the terrible famine of 1876-77. Finally, in 1882, the construction of the dam was approved and Major John

[Image: Mullaperiyar-Outline.svg]

152 feet height of the full water level of the reservoir, with impounding capacity of 10.56 thousand million cubic feet along-with a total estimated cost of INR 84.71 lak.[4]

The dam created a reservoir in a remote gorge of the Periyar river situated 3,000 feet above the sea in dense and malarial jungle, and from the northerly arm of this manmade waterbody, the water flowed first through a deep cutting for about a mile and then through a tunnel, 5704 feet in length and later through another cutting on the other side of the watershed and into a natural ravine and so onto the Vaigai River which has been partly built up for a length of 86 miles, finally discharging 2000 cusecs of water for the arid rain shadow regions of present-day Theni, Madurai District, Sivaganga District and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu, then under British rule as part of Madras Province (Sandes, 1935).[4]

The Periyar project, as it was then known, was widely considered well into the 20th Century as "one of the most extraordinary feats of engineering ever performed by man".[4] The greatest challenge was the diversion of the river so that lower portions of the great dam could be built. The temporary embankments and coffer-dams used to restrain the river waters were regularly swept away by floods and rains. An extremely large amount of manual labour was involved and the mortality of the workers from malaria was extremely high. It was claimed that had it not been for "the medicinal effects of the native spirit called arrack, the dam might never have been finished".[4] The construction also involved the use of troops namely, the 1st and 4th battalions of the Madras Pioneers as well as Portuguese carpenters from Cochin who were employed in the construction of the coffer-dams and other structures.[4]

Lease
On 29 October 1886, a lease indenture for 999 years was made between Maharaja of Travancore, Vishakham Thirunal and Secretary of State for India for Periyar irrigation works. The lease agreement was signed by Dewan of Travancore V Ram Iyengar and State Secretary of Madras State (under British rule) J C Hannington. This lease was made after constant pressure on Travancore King by the British for 24 years. The lease indenture inter alia granted full right, power and liberty to construct, make and carry out on the leased land and to use exclusively when constructed, made and carried out all such irrigation works and other works ancillary thereto to Secretary of State for India (now Tamil Nadu). The agreement was to give 8000 acres of land for the reservoir and another 100 acres to construct the dam. And the tax for each acre was INR 5 per year. When India became independent, the lease agreement expired. After several failed attempts to renew the agreement in 1958, 1960, and 1969, the agreement was renewed in 1970 when C Achutha Menon was Kerala Chief Minister. According to the renewed agreement, the tax per acre was INR 30, and for the electricity generated in Lower Camp using Mullaperiyar water, the charge was INR 12 per kiloWatt per hour. Tamil Nadu uses the water and the land, and the Tamil Nadu government has been paying to the Kerala government for the past 50 years INR 2.5 lakhs as tax per year for the whole land and INR 7.5 lakhs per year as surcharge for the total amount of electricity generated.[6]

Although Kerala claims that the agreement was forced on the then princely State of Travancore, presently part of Kerala, the pact was re-validated in 1970 by Kerala and Tamil Nadu.[8] The lease provided the British the rights over "all the waters" of the Mullaperiyar and its catchment basin, for an annual rent of INR 40,000.
Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.. for tomorrow never comes.. live today!!!
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#3
A short documentary about weakened mullaperiyar dam and the consciousnesses if it collapses and what kerala's stand on rebuilding new dam.


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