Seenu Ramasamy to make biopic on British engineer who built Mullaiperiyar


Director Seenu Ramasamy, known for having introduced Vijay Sethupathi as a hero to the Tamil film industry through his National Award-winning film ‘Thenmerku Paruvakaatru’, has announced that he will next be directing a biopic of British engineer John Pennycuick.

Taking to Twitter, the director said that he was attempting to make a film on the great British engineer who is believed to have constructed the Mullaiperiyar dam, which to this day helps meet the irrigation and drinking water needs of people in five districts of Tamil Nadu including Madurai, Theni and Ramanathapuram.

Talking to IANS, Seenu Ramasamy said, “This is a 10-year dream that I have had. I cannot disclose too much now as I would like to talk more about the project after I have completed it. However, what I can say at this point is that this film will be about Pennycuick and the wonderful relationship that he shared with the people of the region.”

Colonel John Pennycuick was an army engineer, who undertook several irrigation works, while serving under the East India Company. The dam was constructed to prevent people from dying of famine in the region of Madras.

While scores were dying of famine, there was one small region in the southwest that was getting flooded often. The authorities realised that if a part of the Periyar river could be diverted to a dam, instead of allowing it to go waste into the Arabian Sea, it would stop flooding on the one hand and also help prevent a drought on the other.

The Mullaiperiyar Dam which he constructed was considered an architectural marvel then and continues to serve scores of people across the five districts.

Needless to say, farmers are grateful to the engineer for having constructed the dam.

So great is the regard that farmers in the region have for Pennycuick, that some actually worship his diety during ‘Pongal’.