Mullaperiyar: DMK holds state-wide protest fasts
The DMK today observed a State-wide one-day fast to press Kerala to raise the height of the Mullaperiyar reservoir to 142 ft from the present 136 ft as per the 2006 Supreme Court order and drop its plan for a new dam. They also opposed Kerala's demand to lower the level to 120 ft.india Updated: Dec 12, 2011 20:11 IST
The DMK on Monday observed a State-wide one-day fast to press Kerala to raise the height of the Mullaperiyar reservoir to 142 ft from the present 136 ft as per the 2006 Supreme Court order and drop its plan for a new dam. They also opposed Kerala's demand to lower the level to 120 ft.
Thousands of DMK men, led by front-ranking leaders M K Stalin, M K Anbazhagan and others observed the protest fast even as the border town of Kumili remained tense for the eighth day. Mr Karunanidhi did not join the fast because of his poor health.
Mr Stalin told reporters here that Kerala was raising the bogey that the 116-year-old dam would collapse if its level was not reduced as the ruling and opposition fronts were locked in a do-or-die battle in a by-election in Ernakulam district. The bye-election was crucial as the Congress-led UDF has a wafer-thin majority in the 140-member House with 72 against the LDF's 68.
Welcoming chief minister J Jayalalitha's decision to call a special Assembly session on Dec 15, he said the DMK had advanced by a day to Dec 14 its planned human chain protests in the five southern districts of Tamil Nadu which depend on Mullaperiyar for its irrigation needs. "As it involves the
interest of the State, we did not want to indulge in petty-fogging and we advanced our protest," Mr Stalin said.
Rebutting Kerala's contention that the dam would collapse if its water level was raised, Mr Stalin said the Kerala advocate-general himself had conceded in the Supreme Court that the stability of the dam had nothing to do with the reservoir level.
Meanwhile, prohibitory orders were clamped in Kumili for three more days and police deployed in large numbers following an attack by agitating farmers on the convoy of senior AIAMDK Minister O Paneerselvam at Lower Camp on Sunday.
Around midnight Sunday, a group vandalised a petrol pump of Cumbum DMK legislator K Ramakrishnan in Puliyamalai in Idukki district in Kerala.
Talking to reporters in Cumbum after visiting one of the two attendands injured in the attack, Mr Ramakrishnan alleged that his petrol pump was targetted as he had been vocal on the issue.
First Published: Dec 12, 2011 20:03 IST