Built in the late 1800s, the Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala was meant to divert the waters of the Periyar river to the arid areas of Madurai in what is now Tamil Nadu, following a 999-year lease with the British government. Today, though, the engineering marvel has turned into a bone of contention between two states, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, over Tamil Nadus insistence to increase the dams height and Keralas concerns regarding safety. This dispute has led to widespread riots and protests in both the states. In May 2014, the supreme court ruled in favour of Tamil Nadu, but the protests and apprehensions regarding a possible dam burst continue.
Water woes, a timely, insightful exploration of the dispute, examines all aspects of the burning issue of livelihood versus safety. Using meticulous research as well as interviews with government officials, technical experts, police personnel and the common people of both states, at times risking his safety, the author brings out the points of view of both sides. He also shows how water wars will become a major issue not just between states, but between countries, in times to come. This book is a must-read to understand the importance of resolving a simmering issue which might explode in the near future.
About the Author
After completing his graduation in chemistry and post-graduation in computer application, Pradeep Damodaran pursued a successful career in the software industry for nine years before quitting IT to take up journalism. He is presently chief of bureau, Deccan chronicle, Chennai.