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Is Kerala’s dam-rich Idukki a geological time bomb? #savemullaperiyardam

Discussion in 'National Politics' started by Agent_47, Nov 22, 2011.

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  1. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog IDF NewBie

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    People of Idukki, Kerala’s second largest district having several giant, large and medium-sized dams, now feel that they are perhaps sitting on a geological time bomb in the context of recurring tremors, soil piping among hills surrounding a huge reservoir and cracks and leaks that keep on appearing in a 115-year-old old-technology dam due to seismic activities.

    In fact, the strange geological occurrences and their alarming effects on the dams of mountainous Idukki are spreading panic not just among the people of that district but also among those in at least two others, Kottayam and Ernakulam. Idukki comes in Zone 3 seismic category where quakes of magnitude up to 6.0 on the Richter scale cannot be ruled out.

    What has caused fresh concerns among the people of the low-lying areas of Idukki district are the new cracks that have developed in the 115-year-old Mullaperiyar dam on the border between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Fresh cracks appeared at least at three points in the dam and water seepage through cracks increased after two low-intensity tremors hit the region on Friday.

    According to amateur geologists who accuse their professional counterparts of keeping facts subdued for understandable reasons, the large and medium-sized dams numbering over a dozen in Idukki district constitute a huge threat to millions of people, other fauna and flora and the geography itself of an entire region.

    However, the biggest concern stems from the changes occurring around the biggest dam of the district itself, the Idukki arch dam, the largest of its kind in entire Asia, which normally keeps 1.5 billion cubic metres of water, used for generating 66 per cent of the total electricity the State consumes.

    The Idukki reservoir system, constituted by three giant dams, is situated right in the downstream line from the Mullaperiyar reservoir, where the ancient-technology dam is said to have reached the last phase of its life. The worry is that the Idukki dam system would not be able to withstand the weight of additional water in the event of a breach in the Mullaperiyar dam.

    “Every time there is a tremor — and tremors keep happening here — we run out to see what is happening,†says Thomachan, a tea garden employee in Vandiperiyar. “It is not for us alone we are worried. We don’t think the Mullaperiyar dam will be there for long. Any danger to it can cause an inconceivable catastrophe for Kerala,†he says.

    Though no scientist suspects the strength of the Idukki arch dam, even geologists are not sure of the strength of the hills that surround the giant reservoir. “Geologically speaking, these hills are very young and may not have grown firm enough to withstand the pressure of so much water for several decades,†says a former official of the Kerala Department of Geology.

    He says that the soil piping (tunnel erosion) phenomenon that had occurred in Udayagiri hills, bordering the Idukki reservoir, in September last year was indicative of how the pressure of water was acting on the soil around the reservoir. Piping occurs when water flows beneath the earth’s surface eroding loose soil and this can worsen with increasing water pressure.

    The live water storage in Idukki reservoir is estimated as 1.5 billion cubic metres which can cause a downward and sideward thrust of up to 1.5 billion tonnes on the reservoir bed. “I don’t think we can allow these young hills to bear such huge weights,†said the former Geology Department official.

    At present, the biggest concern in Idukki is tremors, though of low magnitude, which the Kerala Government is using to justify its demand for the construction of a new dam at Mullaperiyar. The Kerala Water Resources Department says that a minimum of three fresh cracks had appeared in the Mullaperiyar dam in Friday’s tremors and such occurrences were a matter of concern.

    A minimum of 15 mild tremors have hit the Idukki district, sitting on a faultline, in the past five months. A 3.8-magnitude quake had hit the Idukki region in July last but the strongest tremor occurred in the area in the recent past was in December, 2000. It had measured 5.0 on the Richter.

    During his visit to areas hit by Friday’s tremors, John Mathai, head of the Geology wing of the Centre for Earth Science Studies, Thiruvananthapuram said that more quakes were likely to occur and that the people of Idukki should learn to live with the phenomenon as the region came under Zone 3 seismic category

    Is Kerala
     
  2. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog IDF NewBie

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    Tremors near leaking Mullaperiyar dam leave 150,000 in grip of fear

    KOCHI Fear has gripped over 150,000 people living downstream of the age-old Mullaperiyar dam as experts have predicted more tremors with an epicentre very close to the leaking reservoir in the southern state of Kerala.

    A total of 22 tremors, all within a span of eight months, have been reported from the area, the latest being the one on Friday.

    John Mathai, a senior scientist with the Centre for Earth Science Studies, told Oman Tribune that studies have indicated that even a mild tremor within a radius of 16km upstream of the masonry dam will create gravity acceleration and the dam will not be able to withstand it.

    The dam was constructed in 1895 by the British. It is built with stone and surki, a mixture of sugar and calcium oxide.

    Mullaperiyar Samrakshana Samithi president CP Roy told Oman Tribune that over four million people would be affected if something drastic happens.

    “There are about 200,000 people living on the banks of the river along a stretch of 28-km from Vallakadavu to Idukki alone,” he said, adding the government is not doing anything to allay the fears of the people.

    Though the recent tremor measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale is reported to be of less intensity, experts say that more powerful quakes can be expected in the region sooner or later.

    “People fear that they will be washed out at any moment. But none of us have started moving out as we have nowhere else to go. What is most alarming is that the government has not taken any temporary rehabilitation measures,” said George Mathew, a farmer residing at Vallakadavu.

    Mullaperiyar Cell chairman MK Parameswaran Nair said frequent tremors show the region is prone to seismic activity. “Going by the pattern, it is understood that the tremors began from 2.8 and has reached 3.8 on the Richter scale. It shows there is cause for worry,” he said.

    Of the 22 tremors, one measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale on July 26 was the most powerful one.

    Experts have zeroed in on a pattern where the tremors are coming close to the reservoir region. They have also pointed out that an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.5 or above could damage the dam and thereby washing away the people living downstream along with their property.

    Revenue Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said at present there was no need for any panic.

    Deputy Leader of the Opposition Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said that the threat posed by the dam was a main concern and government should take immediate step to allay the fears of the people.

    Oman Tribune - the edge of knowledge
     
  3. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog IDF NewBie

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    Recurrence of tremors causes concern over Mullaperiyar dam

    [​IMG]

    The officials in charge of the reservoir spotted two minor cracks on it bottom, believed to have been caused by the latest tremor.

    Recurrence of mild tremors in Idukki district in Kerala is causing concern over the safety of the 116-year-old Mullaperiyar dam, located on the borders with Tamil Nadu.

    As many as 22 mild tremors and after-vibrations have occurred in parts of Idukki and adjoining Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts since January this year, officials said.

    Two brief spells of quakes measuring 2.02 and 3.04 on the Richter scale gently shook the area including the dam site on Friday last. The officials in charge of the reservoir spotted two minor cracks on it bottom, believed to have been caused by the latest tremor.

    Taking a serious note of the development, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has sent Revenue Minister Thiruvananchur Radhakrishnan with a team of engineers, scientists and disaster management experts to the area to review the situation and suggest urgent steps, if any required, to allay fear of the locals.

    Mullaperiyar dam was built when this part of Kerala was part of the Travancore princely state and Tamil Nadu under the Madras province under the British rule.

    The dam has since then been a major source irrigation for the agricultural belt of central Tamil Nadu districts.

    For the past two decades however, the dam has been a subject of hot dispute between the neighbouring states.

    While Kerala wants to decommission the structure and build a new one, that idea has not found favour with Tamil Nadu.

    Apart from local resistance groups, political parties on both sides have often taken aggressive postures on the issue.

    In 2006, Kerala government passed the Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation (Amendment) Act 2006, which prohibited the raising of water level beyond 136 ft in the Mulla Periyar Dam as it was placed under the Schedule of ‘Endangered Dams’.

    The Hindu : News / National : Recurrence of tremors causes concern over Mullaperiyar dam

    The Hindu : States / Kerala : Tremors rock Idukki district
     
  4. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog IDF NewBie

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  5. ManuSankar

    ManuSankar Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Mullaperiyar dam: Kerala wants national parties to spell stand

    Thiruvananthapuram, Nov. 22: Expressing deep concern over the delay in scrapping the 116-year-old Mullaperiyar dam on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, the Kerala Water Resources Minister, Mr P. J. Joseph, today urged national parties to spell out their stand on the issue. “This is an issue that concerns millions of people living down stream the unsafe dam. There should not be any delay in building a new dam after de-commissioning the existing one,” he told reporters at his home town Thodupuzha.

    “The national parties should make their stand clear and the issue should also be debated in parliament,” he said.

    Frequent tremors in Idukki district, where the dam is located, had intensified the fears of the people about the danger posed by it, he said.

    In view of recurrence of mild tremors in the area, the Government would hold tomorrow a meeting of experts to discuss reports on the situation drawn up by the Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS) and the core technical team on Mullaperiyar, headed by a former chief engineer, Mr Joseph said.

    According to official reports, as many as 22 mild tremors and after vibrations occurred in parts of Idukki and adjoining Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts since January this year.

    The dam was built when the area was part of the Travancore princely State and Tamil Nadu under the British rule.

    It has since then been a major irrigation source for the agricultural belt of southern Tamil Nadu districts.

    Business Line : Industry & Economy / Government & Policy : Mullaperiyar dam: Kerala wants national parties to spell stand
     
  6. ManuSankar

    ManuSankar Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Mullaperiyar row deepens; TN political parties demand ban on 'Dam 999'

    [​IMG]

    The Hollywood film Dam 999, which was slated for release on Friday, has already run into a storm with the DMK, MDMK and PMK demanding its ban as they alleged it depicted the collapse of the century-old Mullaiperiyar Dam over which Tamil Nadu is locked in a row with Kerala.

    “The Kerala government is behind this movie, Dam 999. The film depicts a disaster showing lakhs of people perishing when a dam collapses.This is highly condemnable as it depicts the Mullaiperiyar Dam,” DMK Parliamentary leader T.R. Baalu told reporters in New Delhi.


    He said he had sought permission from party chief Mr M. Karunanidhi to meet the Prime Minister and seek a ban on the film.

    According to MDMK general secretary Vaiko, the film starring Indian and Hollywood actors and directed by Sohan Roy, was financed by Keralites.

    It had been named Dam 999 due to the legal rights held by Tamil Nadu over the Mullaiperiyar Dam for 999 years, he said while appealing to the South Indian Film Chambers, Tamil Film Producers Council and the South Indian Artistes Association not to allow the screening of the film in Tamil Nadu.

    PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss said that the film had been screened before the Supreme Court appointed expert committee, headed by retired judge justice A.S. Anand to back Kerala’s claim that the reservoir was unsafe and required to be replaced. He urged chief minister Jayalalithaa to take up the matter with the Centre.

    The dam, located in the Iddukki district of Kerala, is under the control of Tamil Nadu government and meets the irrigation needs of farmers in southern districts bordering Kerala.

    While Kerala had proposed construction of a new dam to replace the old structure stating that it posed a danger to people living downstream, Tamil Nadu has been opposing the move maintaining that the dam was safe.

    Dam 999 is not about Mullaperiyar: Director

    A media gathering at Prasad Studios in Vadapalani, Chennai, on the movie Dam 999, believed to be based on the Mullaperiyar dam, was disrupted after a group of people claiming to be MDMK sympathizers created a ruckus inside the studio.

    The protesters who mistook the gathering as a screening of the movie entered the premises raising slogans against the film and smashed glass panes of the building. Following this, security officials locked down the entrance gate barring anyone from entering into studio premises.

    The protesters took away negatives of a Telugu film (reportedly Mohan Babu’s film) from the lab misconstruing those for Dam 999’s negatives.

    A battalion of police personnel who reached the scene had to face the ire of protesters. Later, assistant directors from Tamil Film Directors Association joined the protest demanding a ban on the movie.

    Issuing a statement, Director Sohan Roy said that Dam 999 was based on a true story about a disaster caused by a dam in 1975 at Banqiuo in China which killed 2, 50,000 people and had nothing to do with any dam in India or especially in Tamil Nadu.

    He also stated that, Dam 999 is not the kind of film which will hurt the values, culture or sentiments of the Tamil people.

    “I have great respect towards the Tamil people, their culture, values and sentiments. I assure that my film doesn’t have any shot or dialogue that would create a bad impression about the land or its people,” said the director adding that he was willing to hold a special preview of the movie for State politicians and assured that any objectionable shot or dialogue, if found, would be removed.

    “Personally I believe Tamil Nadu needs water from Mullaperiyar. The best solution is to construct a bigger dam at the earliest to replace the old one so that Tamil Nadu gets more water and the lives of Keralites can be saved as well,” said Sohan Roy.

    Trailer leaves behind a trail of smoke

    Going by the trailer, Dam 999 has all the trappings of a larger-than-life commercial film – a dramatic villain brandishing a snake, handsome foreign actors having affairs with locals, a mystical Ayurveda healer throwing powder into ceremonial fires, and the dam.

    Mountains of water engulfing Kerala-style houses, large concrete slabs crashing into ships and terrified people running for their lives, as seen in countless other disaster movies. With all this backed by a star cast of critically acclaimed actors and the “3-D” tag line, one would think Sohan Roy’s directorial debut would be an entertaining watch and not much else.

    But then, one hears that the screenplay of Dam999 has been chosen by the Oscar Library for its “permanent core collection”. Shot in the lush locales of Allapuzha and Ooty, apart from studios in the gulf and the Ramoji film city, Dam 999 had roped in Thotta Tharani as art director and Malayalam film composer Ouseppachan.

    Going a step further, Sohan Roy has also released DAM999–The Novel, to give the audience a more elaborate version of his story, claimed to be a tribute to the 2,50,000 people who were killed when China’s Banqiao Dam collapsed in 1975.

    Kerala-born Sohan Roy, who started his career in the Merchant navy, now heads Dubai-based Marine Biz TV, the world’s leading maritime channel, apart from several other successful businesses. He admits that his magnum opus is based on his award-winning documentary, DAMs-The Lethal Water Bombs, that showcases the 100-year-old Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala’s Iddukki district, as a “disaster waiting to happen”.

    The movie has already generated excitement among Kerala youth, spurring them to leave comments like “let’s pray this should not happen in Mullaiperiyar, Tamil people and govt will not get time to regret.”.

    Mullaperiyar row deepens; TN political parties demand ban on 'Dam 999' | Deccan Chronicle
     
  7. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog IDF NewBie

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    [video=youtube_share;gS0PwCmjIt4]http://youtu.be/gS0PwCmjIt4[/video]
     
  8. ManuSankar

    ManuSankar Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Kerala: Mullaperiyar dam is a disaster in waiting

    The 116-year-old leaky Mullaperiyar dam, operated by the Tamil Nadu government, is too weak to withstand a strong quake.

    Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government stepped up its demand on Wednesday for a new dam at Mullaperiyar and re-emphasized that the old dam is a disaster in waiting. It made an urgent appeal to the Tamil Nadu government to reduce the level of water in the 116-year-old leaky Mullaperiyar dam situated in the hilly Idukki district.

    The appeal comes after IIT Roorkee experts pointed out that a quake in the region could lead to the dam bursting and bringing in untold misery for Kerala.

    At a press conference called to highlight the lurking danger, Kerala water resources minister P. J. Joseph pointed out that the dam site and its surrounding areas have already been rocked by tremors 20 times since July.

    The experts have warned that there can be a possibility of the area experiencing a quake as high as measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale and that the dam is too weak to withstand such a strong quake.

    The Kerala water resources said only a new dam could avert the impending disaster. Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy said the state's prime concern was safety of the people and that Kerala was ready to bear the expense for building a new dam.

    "The main worry of Tamil Nadu is whether it would get the present quantity of water once the new dam comes up. We are ready to give any undertaking to Tamil Nadu that it would be permitted to draw the present quantity of water," Joseph assured the neighbouring state.

    He expressed hope that the Tamil Nadu government may change its adamant stance on the issue, keeping in mind the grim danger Kerala faces. " Chief minister Jayalalithaa and all parties in the state should co- operate with Kerala and create conducive situation to construct a new dam," Joseph said.

    Disputing Tamil Nadu's argument that the dam is not weak, Joseph said as far back as in 1979, the Central Water Commission had found that the dam had outlived its life and recommended its decommissioning.

    Chandy, who was in Delhi on Tuesday, also took up the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and urged him to mediate with Tamil Nadu. He also appealed to the national parties to discuss the issue in Parliament and evolve a formula which would amicably resolve the issue.

    The experts from IIT Roorkee, who conducted a study on the safety of the dam, are of the view that the area may get a quake of 6.5 intensity. In that event, the dam will collapse. The water in the dam would reach the Idukki dam on the downstream. It is not known whether the arch dam would be able to hold the additional quantity of water reaching from Mullaperiyar.

    Though the dam, which was built with lime and surky (jaggery) is in the Kerala territory, the water and the dam is controlled by Tamil Nadu under an agreement between the British government and the princely state of Travancore nearly 120 years ago.

    Kerala: Mullaperiyar dam is a disaster in waiting -  
     
  9. ManuSankar

    ManuSankar Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Small Earthquake in Kerala at Kottayam, Idukki, Mullaperiyar

    On 26 July 2011, many parts in Kerala was affected with mild earthquakes.

    The Earth Quake was measured to about 3.8 Richter Scale and it was experienced in districts like Kottayam and Idukki.

    In Idukki the Mullaperiyar Dam also experienced mild earthquake.

    Kerala and Tamilnadu has been in a fight over the water from Mulla Periyar.

    Mulla Periyar dam was leaking months before and people around here are in fear of the dam getting collapsed due to quakes which can cause floods and take lives of many people.

    The quakes happened at 1 pm and later at 2.15 pm.

    No causalities or destruction is reported with regard to this Earthquake in Kerala.

    Small Earthquake in Kerala at Kottayam, Idukki, Mullaperiyar ~ Shyni Blog
     
  10. Travancore

    Travancore REGISTERED

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    We are sitting on a time bomb. We are going to get killed at any moment... since its affecting nearly 6 to 7 districts of kerala, everyone from kasargod to trivandrum is going to affect.
    politicians pls stop playing with our life.. malayalees wont forgive to the Indian union gov and TN if anything drastic happens.. It will become another 'K' for India.
     
  11. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog IDF NewBie

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    To Jayalalithaa,
    "Damlu cracku..crackilu
    leaku..state fullaa
    wateru... water
    comu..house fullaa gone-
    u..Oh..my godu,Wat v
    gonna dolu?!"

    :biggthumpup:

    Why this Kolaveri Di???
     
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  12. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog IDF NewBie

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    After facebook, tweets, protest posters, events, candle light meets, new lyrics of KOLAVERI - now we are with new way of protesting - Sending Poor Old Sardar/TintuMon jokes in name of Tamilan. Come on! There is NO DAMN issue between Keralites and Tamilans. Grow Up!

    Via Hiran
     
  13. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog IDF NewBie

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  14. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog IDF NewBie

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  15. ManuSankar

    ManuSankar Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Water in Mullaperiyar dam rises to 137.09 ft; NH traffic disrupted

    Idukki, Nov 15 (UNI) The water level in the 110-year-old Mullaperiyar dam rose to 137.09 ft. this morning even as traffic on the Kambam-Kumily stretch of the Kollam-Theni National Higway was disrupted as gushing waters flooded and damaged parts of the road.

    Kerala Revenue Minister K P Rajendran convened a meeting with the District Collector and area representatives to review the situation here today even as State Water Resources Minister N K Premachandran left for the Mullaperiyar dam site this morning.

    Besides Mr Premachandran, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala, former water resources minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan and former MLA E M Augusty also left for the site this morning.

    State Water Resources Department Chief Engineer K Diwakaran, who had inspected the Mullaperiyar dam following instructions from Mr Premachandran, has reported that the seepage through the 'Baby dam' next to the main Mullaperiyar dam was ''serious.'' The district authorities had sounded a 'high alert' in the Periyar reservoir area yesterday after the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam, situated on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border crossed the maximum permissible storage level of 136 ft.

    Traffic on the Kamban-Kumily stretch of the National Highway 220 from Kollam to Theni, has been disrupted since yesterday as Tamil Nadu diverted huge quantum of water through the Irachilpalam corridor. The gushing waters flooded the path near Irachil culvert and damaged the road. The traffic was now being routed through Chellarkovil.

    Water in Mullaperiyar dam rises to 137.09 ft; NH traffic disrupted
     
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