|Medha offers to mediate in dam row|
|New Delhi, Dec 8, DHNS:|
|Narmada Bachao leader Medha Patkar has offered to mediate between Kerala and Tamil Nadu on the controversial Mullaperiyar dam issue.|
| In a statement on Thursday, the National Alliance for People’s Movement (NAPM) has opposed the Kerala government’s call for construction of a new dam and termed it as an “ill founded solution”.
“As such, a new, larger dam in place of the existing one may actually increase the risk of seismic activity in the area. The issue of additional forest requirement of about 50 ha in the Periyar tiger reserve should also be considered,” said NAPM.
“A fair number of India’s dams are over 100 years old. A list compiled by the Central Water Commission shows at least 114 dams in this category. There are roughly 400 dams which are 50-100 years old,” said Medha Patkar, Sandeep Pandey and Madhuresh of NAPM in their joint statement. “Mullaperiyar is one such ageing dam and fears of further breach and damage has increased in recent times with the seismic activity in the region,” it said.
“NAPM in this regard offers its help in mediating between the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala with the help of the Central government. We do hope with the help of people’s movements from both sides, we will be able to reach out a compromise which will serve the livelihood and safety concerns of the people,” said the rights activists.