IDUKKI: Even as the seepage through the ‘baby dam’ next to the Mullaperiyar dam has increased due to surge in water level, the three-member Supreme Court-appointed apex committee will be meeting in Kumily on Monday.
Unlike the last few meetings, Kerala is likely to raise various issues of concern strongly before the panel this time. Ever since the panel made its first visit to the dam after its formation, Kerala had been accusing it of not being neutral and taking side with Tamil Nadu on various issues. Last time, Kerala member V J Kurien had said that the panel chief L A V Nathan was turning a deaf ear to Kerala’s concern over issues like seepage through the dams and Tamil Nadu’s reluctance to share the data of the history of the seepages through the dam.
Kerala is also likely to raise strong objection to the five member sub-committee for not visiting the dam as per schedule. This time, a large area of forest has been inundated due to the increase in the water level in the dam, disturbing the routine activities of the wildlife.
The Forest Department has said that if the water level continues at this mark, it would be difficult for the wildlife to find its food resulting in serious consequences to the forest and tourism. The panel comprising L A V Nathan, Chief Engineer, (Dam Safety Organisation), Central Water Commission; M Saikumar, Principal Secretary (Public Works), Tamil Nadu; and V J Kurien, Additional Chief Secretary (Water Resources), Kerala, would visit the dam in the morning. It will hold a sitting at its office in Kumily in the evening.
The water level in the dam came down to 141.25 feet against its permissible level of 142 feet on Sunday. Inflow into the dam was 770 cubic feet per second (Cusecs) while the outflow to Tamil Nadu was 2,065 cusecs. Rainfall recorded in catchment area was 1 mm and in Thekkady, 3.6 mm.
The total volume of water in the dam was 211 Million Cubic Metre (MCM) against its full capacity of 443.6 MCM. Meanwhile, the Idukki Dam had a total of 1,160.74 MCM of water which is 80 per cent of its full capacity of 1,460 MCM. Water level in the Idukki dam was at 2,385 feet against its full level of 2,403 feet.