Thodupuzha: Idukki dam, the biggest arch dam in Asia, completed 42 years on Monday. The dam is generating power to Kerala since 1975.

According to reports, 85 workers lost their lives in accidents during the construction of the dam. Large numbers of workers constructed the dam with their hard work and determination.

Many workers who reached here for the dam work settled here later.

Vellappally Purushan and Ponnamma, a couple who worked for the dam construction, still remembers the construction of the dam even in this old age. They shared their memories on the historic dam construction at Idukki.

The couple said that the workers worked for the dam construction by challenging their life.

At that time, the workers got only Rs 2 as wage after taking sand and stone as head-load to the site from 8 am to 5 pm.

Purushan and Ponnamma had worked for the road construction on the dam site during the initial phase and later engaged with dam work.

Hindustan Company, which executed the dam work, gave the tender for various works to private companies.

Over hundred people, including women, worked for a low wage under these companies.

The couple said that official documents keep a fake record on the number deaths that occured during the work.

They also remembered the days when they had demanded hike in wages. The companies raised wage for workers and approved allowances after the workers formed unions and staged protest.

When the dam turns 42 years, the old couple have a special demand to the authority. They demanded the electricity board to arrange a reunion of the workers who were engaged in the dam work.

The commercial operations of the power house of the dam in Idukki was commissioned by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on February 12, 1976.