Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 22: With experts declaring that the town of Idukki in Kerala is earthquake prone, the fears of the cracks in the Mullaperiyar dam has only heightened. The 116-year old dam was mired in controversy after fresh cracks appeared in the dam after the mild tremors on Nov 18.
Twitter was abuzz with the campaign for the reconstruction of the age old Mullaperiyar dam. With social media emerging as the latest toll to create social awareness on the cause, Sunday saw the most action in this front with as many as 20 tweets per minute on the issue.
In an effort to drum up support for the cause that is sure to have deadly consequences, there are blogs and a dedicated Facebook page on the Mullaperiyar dam. Some netizens have compared the Mullaperiyar issue to a 'Water Bomb' that can have disastrous consequences worse than the atom bomb.
A Mullaperiyar activist, Ebin Sam tweeted, “In 1975 Banqiao Dam killed 2 lakh & 11 million were homeless & the Chinese woke up. If Dam bursts, the water is gonna flow at around 100Mph. Nothing can or will stand in its path." [Read: Cracks in Ker-TN on Mullaperiyaar issue; Dam 999 faces wrath]
The latest voice to support the issue is the Malayalam Film industry with short films being made on it and the issue getting featured in popular Malayalam films. A popular Malayalam film director, Ashique Abu tweeted “Mullaperiyar dam won"t ask for anyone"s permission to collapse".
The Facebook page on Mullaperiyar also has many documentaries intended to sensitize the public on the after-effects of a dam burst.
The other contentious issue of the ownership and the water sharing between Tamil Nadu and Kerala is seeing no resolve. Summing up the issue, the popular magazine Frontline in an article in 2000 had written, "For every argument raised by Tamil Nadu in support of its claims, there is counter-argument in Kerala that appears equally plausible. Yet, each time the controversy gets embroiled in extraneous issues, two things stand out: One is Kerala's refusal to acknowledge the genuine need of the farmers in the otherwise drought-prone regions of Tamil Nadu for the waters of the Mullaperiyar; the other is Tamil Nadu's refusal to see that it cannot rely on or continue to expect more and more from the resources of another State to satisfy its own requirements to the detriment of the other State. A solution perhaps lies in acknowledging the two truths, but neither government can afford the political repercussions of such a confession."
But the fact that remains is that the four districts in Kerala on the water path, in case of a dam burst, will be completely devastated and will see 5 million looking at destruction right on the face. With the Kerala politicians visiting the site and assessing the situation, the gravity of the issue is rising with every passing day. With Tamil Nadu Ministers playing politics over the issue, the only people at the receiving end is the aam janta that will have to bear the brunt of the issue, that could catapult to grave proportions.