DMK president M Karunanidhi, a Congress ally, warned the central government on Monday of “severe repercussions” if it remained silent on the feud between Tamil Nadu and Kerala on the Mullaperiyar dam issue.
Also, the DMK on Monday observed a day’s fast to press Kerala not to oppose the raising of the dam’s height. The fast was also to pressure Kerala to drop all plans for a new dam. Karunanidhi said, “If the UPA government dithers on this issue, as it does on all issues, it will lead to severe repercussions.”
The dam on the river Periyar lies in Kerala but the Tamil Nadu government controls its operations in accordance with a treaty of the 1880s between the ruler of Travancore (then a princely state in Kerala) and the British.
Tamil Nadu is citing increasing water needs and a 2006 Supreme Court directive on raising the storage level of the dam to 142 feet from the existing 136 feet. Kerala is opposed to it and wants the new dam to be 120 feet high.
Welcoming Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha’s decision to call a special assembly session on December 15, DMK leader MK Stalin said the party had advanced by a day to December 14 its planned human chain protests. “As it involves the interests of the state, we advanced our protest,” Stalin said.