From reel to real

Published: Nov 21, 2011, 07:29 IST | Divya Unny |

The recent quake near Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala is exactly what is depicted in an upcoming film

The recent quake near Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala is exactly what is depicted in an upcoming film

It's one of the eeriest coincidences a filmmaker might have ever experienced. A film called Dam 999 highlights the issues facing the Mullaperiyar dam in the Idduki district in Kerala and talks about how it would put lakhs of lives in danger if it collapses.

Still from Dam 999 and Mullaperiyar dam

Strangely though, people living near its vicinity, actually experienced a quake in the wee hours of Friday.
Earthquakes of 2.8 and 3.2 magnitudes were felt between 5.27 and 5.45 am in Upputhara and Peerumedu taluka areas of Idukki district. The tremors seemed to have left some cracks in the houses in the vicinity and in the Mullaperiyar dam itself.

Says Sohan Roy the director of Dam 999 who has been researching on the issue over a decade, "For me this is no co-incidence because since the past few months this area has faced a few tremors. This time the magnitude is the highest and it has created a situation of panic amongst people here."

Dam 999, which has been made on the backdrop of the 1975 Banqiao Dam disaster in China, highlights the ongoing differences between the Kerala and Tamil Nadu government regarding the reconstruction of the dam.

Says Roy, "It is geographically proven that the plate on which the dam is made is not designed to hold the dam.
It's a moving plate and that's the reason constant tremors are being felt. If the dam collapses, over 25 lakh people will lose their lives. It's a situation that cannot be ignored any longer."

Apparently the water sharing contract between Kerala and Tamil Nadu is one of the major reasons the dam cannot be rebuilt.

Adds Roy, "Though the film does throw light on the issue, eventually it's a problem that needs to be solved in real and not just on film."

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