THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the water level touching the alarming 140 ft in Mullaperiyar dam, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has written to his TN counterpart O Paneerselvam voicing concern over the safety of the people and requesting to increase water intake from the dam to reduce the water level. In his letter sent on Friday, Chandy also assured that Tamil Nadu would not lose even a single drop of water.
Chandy pointed out that the increase in water level above 136 ft in the past two weeks could have been easily avoided by suitable reservoir management of Mullaperiyar and Vaigai dams as was done in previous years.
“The rise in water level is mainly due to the drastic reduction in the drawing of water to Vaigai reservoir in spite of the availability of more than 3 tmc of storage space,’’ the Chief Minister’s letter said.
Chandy said the present crisis can be easily avoided by increasing the discharge through the tunnel to the maximum, so that the water level can be brought down below 136 ft within 4 to 5 days.
Urging Paneerselvam to personally intervene in the issue, Chandy requested the TN Chief Minister to instruct the officials concerned to take possible measures to increase the rate of withdrawal of water. The issue should be given top priority to allay the apprehensions of people and avoid unnecessary panic, the Chief Minister added.
The communications sent to TN PWD Secretary M Sai Kumar by Kerala, including the government letter to the SC-appointed supervisory committee on October 31 and the representations made before the committee on November 12, were mentioned in the Chief Minister’s letter.
Chandy said one of the 13 spillway gates of the dam has been damaged and repair works are going on. North-east monsoon is active and heavy rains can be expected any time.
Increase in storage level has caused serious concerns and anxiety among the people living in the downstream, he added.
In the wake of increased water level raising serious concerns, the state Cabinet had reviewed the situation and emergency preparedness in the region on Thursday. The state is of the view of that with the supervisory panel not responding to its request, Kerala should approach the Supreme Court seeking urgent directives to Tamil Nadu to maintain the water level at 136 ft.