X
UCA News

India

Court urges calm over dam

Wants to cool growing tension between squabbling states over safety, water levels

ucanews.com reporter, Kochi

ucanews.com reporter, Kochi

Published: December 14, 2011 08:50 AM GMT

Updated: December 14, 2011 08:55 AM GMT

Court urges calm over dam

The supreme court yesterday urged two southern Indian states to refrain from inflaming passions over a century-old dam in Kerala state, which the court has said poses no immediate threat to residents. “There is nothing serious, grave or emergent about the safety of the Mullaperiyar dam warranting our interference at this stage,” the BBC reported, citing a statement from the court on December 12. The dam is located in Idukki, a mountainous region of Kerala, but supplies water to Tamil Nadu. The statement comes amid reports of violence along the border between the two states. P Chandrashekaran, director general of police in Kerala, said today that 800 armed police have been deployed in Kumily, near the dam site, while an equal number have been moved to the border of Tamil Nadu. “The situation remains tense and we are keeping vigil on the border,” he said. He added that there have been reports of isolated attacks on Kerala residents living near the border. The Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Conference earlier this month renewed efforts to convince federal authorities  to relocate the dam, which they say has been affected by earthquakes and high seasonal rains, and poses a threat to an estimated 3.5 million residents in the area. Authorities in neighboring Tamil Nadu say the dam, which they operate on a 999-year lease agreement, does not pose a threat. State officials from both states have met in recent weeks with the prime minister to discuss the issue, and further discussions have been scheduled, according to the BBC report. Tensions among residents in the area remain high. Rev George M Jacob said the Marthoma Church in Kambom near the Tamil Nadu border was looted and burned by a mob of 100 people, and that he has since relocated his family out of fears of more violence. Raju Jacob, owner of a cashew factory in Ramalingapuram, said a mob burned the factory and that police had been deployed to prevent further attacks. Major Archbishop George Alencherry, head of the Syro-Malabar Church, said he regretted the reported violence and appealed for all people to remain calm.

Related News

Also Read

 
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia