New film highlights problems faced by the Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala
It's one of the worst man-made calamities the world has ever witnessed, and is now being re-lived on film. The Banqiao dam disaster in China of 1975 claimed the lives of over 1,70,000 people, rendering over 10 lakh homeless.
A still from the film
Marine engineer-turned-filmmaker Sohan Roy's international venture, Dam 999, not just pays tribute to the victims, but through the backdrop of the incident, aims to highlight similar issues faced by the Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala.
Says Sohan, "I live in Kerala and have witnessed the various issues facing the Mullaperiyar dam. There are a lot of political controversies that is preventing the dam from being rebuilt, putting the lives of lakhs of people in danger.
When I researched further I realised that the problems faced by the Banqiao Dam is very similar to that in Kerala. I thought it was my responsibility to highlight it through a film."
Interestingly, before this feature film, Roy had also put together an award-winning documentary titled Issue Dams: The lethal water bombs, on the problems facing the Mullaperiyar dam, which revealed some shocking truths.
Adds Roy, "Most of the dams across the world were built post World-War 2 and on concrete which does not last beyond 50 years. If Mullaperiyar collapses, the expected death toll would be over 25 lakh people."
The film also talks about the ongoing differences between the Kerala and Tamil Nadu government regarding the reconstruction. Dam 999 is a $10 million 3D film and is expected to release in India on November 25th.