THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The spillway shutters of the 123-year-old Mullaperiyar reservoir at Thekkady were opened on Wednesday after the water level reached 139.15 feet. The water level had risen considerably following heavy rain in the upstream of the dam for the past 48 hours. The permitted level of water in the dam is 142 ft, while the total capacity is 152 ft. With the evel rising to 137 ft by Tuesday afternoon, Tamil Nadu issued an alert to the Idukki district administration that the shutters may be opened any time. The district administration, in turn, warned the people and safety preparations were taken.
As a precautionary measure, five shutters of Idukki dam, where the water released from the Mullaperiyar would be accommodated, were opened at 5 pm, releasing 600 cumecs of water. It will be increased to 750 cumecs at 1 am on Wednesday. Shaji M K, Peerumade deputy tahsildar, in-charge of the taluk control room, said an alert was issued when the water level reached 136 ft on Tuesday. However, the catchment areas received heavy rainfall for the past 24 hours and the inflow of water into the dam increased considerably. “Although the permitted level of water in Mullaperiyar dam is 142 ft, the decision to open the shutters was taken in view of rising water level in other major reservoirs and Vaigai dam inching to its full capacity,” he said. Water drawn by TN from Mullaperiyar is stored in Vagai dam.
While the total capacity of the dam is 70 ft, the water level crossed 61 ft on Tuesday. There was anxiety among people as the water level was kept over 135 ft for over a week with TN drawing water at a controlled level, decreasing the intake whenever there was a fall in inflow. Though TN was drawing water at 2,200 cusecs, the inflow was 4419.40 cusecs and the additional water was stored in the dam resulting in a surge in the water level.
Chief Sec issues alert to people on Periyar banks
T’Puram: Chief Secretary Tom Jose on Tuesday issued an alert to the people who live on the banks of the Periyar River. “The State Relief Commissioner of Tamil Nadu has intimated that Tamil Nadu may release water to Kerala side of Periyar from Mullaperiyar reservoir, considering the high inflow into the reservoir. Hence, the State Executive Committee of KSDMA has decided to release more water from Cheruthoni dam. People living close to Periyar in Ernakulam, Idukki and Thrissur should comply with the directions issued by the Collectors and move to relief camps,” he said in a statement.