Monday, December 5, 2011
MULLAPERIYAR DISPUTE: CHURCH OF SOUTH INDIA’S RESPONSE (Released on Dec. 5, 2011)
The Church of South India, with more than 4 million people in 22 dioceses, of which 4 are in Kerala (South Kerala, Madhya Kerala, East Kerala & North Kerala) and 8 in Tamil Nadu (Coimbatore, Vellore, Trichy-Tanjore, Madras, Madurai-Ramnad, Tirunelvely, Thoothukudy–Nazareth & Kanyakumari), expresses her deep concern over the ongoing dispute over the Mullaperiyar Dam, located in Kerala, and controlled and operated by Tamil Nadu. The Church is worried over the reports by various agencies that the 116 year old dam would not withstand an earthquake above magnitude 6 on the Richter scale, the consequence of which would be seriously detrimental to the people both in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, though in varying magnitudes.
The Church of South India, urges the Central Government to immediately intervene in the issue, pertaining both to the life and livelihood of the people. The Church also urges the political and religious leaders, along with the civil society and media, and especially the people of Kerala and Tamil Nadu to jointly find a common consensus to this sensitive issue which could be mutually agreed upon and which would be advantageous to the people of both the states.
The Church of South India, humbly requests the Supreme Court of India to expedite the legal process, considering the urgency and importance of the issue and pronounce the verdict immediately. The Church, in the meanwhile, requests the people, to remain immune to the differing reports, which may or may not be politically motivated, and to restrain and refrain from any unwarranted provocations both in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Moreover, taking into consideration the ecological effects of dams, the Church of South India suggests projects and initiatives in India that promote and build environmentally sustainable, small-scale, cost-effective and decentralized water and power systems that deliver to the needs. Efficient water management with zero environmental hazards should certainly be a long term objective which needs priority attention.
The Church of South India pledges her solidarity with all the people, irrespective of their regional identities and bindings, empathizing with their struggles, anxieties and fears over the reports and disputes. The Church assures her prayers and hopes that, the Almighty would help us to evolve a decision, mutually agreeable and just and that peace would be instilled back in the minds and lives of our brothers and sisters, both in Kerala and Tamilnadu.
Released by GENERAL SECRETARY, Church of South India Synod
DIRECTOR, Dept. of Ecumenical Relations and Ecological Concerns