Clashes at Mullaperiar dam site as SC appoints expert panel

Trouble continued to brew around the Mullaperiyar dam site on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, even as the Supreme Court on Monday appointed an empowered committee to look into the dispute.

The committee will depute two of its technical members to study the damage caused to the dam in recent earthquakes.

Meanwhile, in Kumily, in Kottayam district of Kerala, police on Monday night issued orders banning any gathering of more than five people for three days in and around the border checkpost, as protestors from Tamil Nadu and Kerala clashed over the dam - a contentious issue between the two states.

While Kerala wants the 116-year-old dam scrapped and a new one built in its place, Tamil Nadu wants to continue with the old dam.

The situation has been tense since Monday afternoon, when Kerala establishments and vehicles owned by Keralites were attacked across the border.

For the past 10 days, top political leaders from Kerala across political parties have undertaken fasts to prevail upon the central government to intervene and persuade Tamil Nadu to let Kerala de-commission the 116-year-old leaking Mullaperiyar Dam and construct a new dam.

The Mullaperiyar Dam issue has also in part helped stall Parliament since the start of the winter session, apart from the headline-grabbing issue of foreign investment in retail. Members of Parliament from Kerala have been aggressive and vociferous in this regard.