The plethora of arguments for and against the proposed Athirapally hydro-electric project in Kerala has started leaving a bad taste in the mouth. Some of the comments from both the sides have acquired the dimensions of mudslinging.
Let me make it absolutely clear that I am not a protagonist of any dam. I would be the happiest man if even a tiny patch of forest is left undisturbed in its pristine form.
My query to the opponents of dam is what are their contributions for giving suggestions for alternatives? Shouting for and against the dam is something that any Tom Dick and Harry can do. Let us not run away from the fact that we need electricity. Let us be pragmatic. Thermal power plants in thickly populated Kerala are fraught with lot of imponderable outcomes. Wind and tide energy are yet to make an impact. I know of couple of guys who shout against dams, but cannot live without fan and air-conditioning. Charity should begin at home. Why not fight for a thermal or other option for Kerala outside the state and ensure that it comes to us at a rate that is equivalent to the hydroelectric power that would have been generated in Athirappally? This might sound simplistic but I am sure that if the environmentalists fight for it, it will surely see the daylight. The entire nation stands to benefit if our forest are saved from the predators that comes in the garb of protagonists of “development”. So there is no harm in demanding our pound of flesh.
Stop the bitching and get down to business please. Mr Balan is only doing his job as electricity minister. If he was in the opposition may be he too would have opposed the project. Leave behind the bickering and let us work for the holistic development of the state.