Mullaperiyar dam: Tweets want Idukki annexed with Tamil Nadu

Mullaperiyar dam, though located in Idukki district of Kerala, is operated and maintained by Tamil Nadu

The battle to solve the Mullaperiyar dam issue between Kerala and Tamil Nadu was fought online

The 125-year-old Mullaperiyar Dam has once again become a bone of contention between the neighbouring states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu as water levels continued to rise in the dam. Netizens too have dived into the stormy waters with many hashtags springing up like #DecommissionMullaperiyarDam; SaveMullaperiyarDam; and another combative, cheekier one called #AnnexeIdukkiWithTN.

The #AnnexeIdukkiWithTN hashtag has predictably gone viral.

Even as the water levels in the Mullaperiyar dam continued to rise, reaching 137.30 ft on Monday evening, the maximum permitted level as decided by the Supreme Court is 142ft, Kerala continued to be tense. After the recent bout of heavy rains and floods that killed 27 people in Kerala, the state is deeply concerned about the situation now, especially as the weatherman has predicted more rains in the region in the coming days.

On Sunday (October 24), Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to his Tamil Nadu counterpart MK Stalin asking him to withdraw water from the dam immediately as the reservoir level might reach 142 ft quickly due to heavy rains.


Also watch: Will Mullaperiyar dam break? Kerala, TN fight goes on

On October 24, Malayalam actor, Prithviraj Sukumaran tweeted under the hashtag #DecommissionMullaperiyarDam, “Regardless of what the facts and findings are or will be, there is no reason or excuse for this 125-year-old dam to exist as a functioning structure! It’s about time we put politics and economics aside and do what is right.”

The floodgates opened as many Twitter users dived into this highly contentious issue to start posting comments, with some asking Kerala to “give Idukki back to Tamil Nadu”.

“Enough is enough”, said one user. Another said, “No need to build a new dam according to technical experts. But, If need we will build ! But, total Idukki district should be annexed with Tamil Nadu.”

“It’s time to redo the borders…recapture the region of Tamil Nadu back again…all regions should be brought back to Tamil Nadu…”, said another under the hashtag #AnnexeIdukkiwithTN.

Another user said that Idukki district is a predominantly Tamil majority region with a large Malayalam-speaking minority population. It is a bilingual region within the state of Kerala, it’s time to annexe Idukki with TN and save the rights of Tamils and TN.

“Malayalees do you have a little conscience? If you can’t save the Idukki Dam, leave it to TN. Depending on the dam, there are 5M farmers cultivate food and 50M Tamil people who use it. For you it’s just a normal dam but for us it is the livelihood of the people”, said Mohan Kumar Saraswathi.

“Did you know Mallus, the dam and Idukki district were with Madurai district during British rule before India gained independence. Shall we redo the border? Give TN this dam which is useless for you.”

Mullaperiyar dam, though located in Idukki district of Kerala, is operated and maintained by Tamil Nadu for meeting the drinking water and irrigation requirements of five of its southern districts. However, the issue is that Tamil Nadu stores water till it reaches its capacity of 142 ft, and if water is released suddenly, then it makes it difficult for Kerala to manage the floods.

The 1,200-foot Mullaperiyar Dam with a capacity of 6,000 million cubic feet of water is situated in the Periyar Wildlife sanctuary in Idukki. Built by British engineer John Pennycuick in 1895, who is some sort of a demi-god in the area, the dam came as a boon to the water-starved, poor farmers of the then Madras Presidency.