THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as lethargic dam management is being blamed for the destructive floods, a former dam management head of the KSEB has rubbished the charge and claimed the dams, in fact, helped to reduce the destruction. The primary objective of dams is avoiding and controlling flood, said K Radhakrishnan, former member (generation) who was in charge of dam management in KSEB while in service. Any criticism to the contrary goes totally against basic facts, he said.
“The dams stored huge quantities of water during the flood days and saved the downstream river bank areas from a still bigger flood caused by the highly unprecedented downpour,” he said. The former officer’s comments come at a time when the KSEB and the Irrigation Department are facing flak from various corners, including from the Opposition, for allegedly aggravating the floods through improper dam management.
To bolster his argument, Radhakrishnan cites the example of the Idukki reservoir, the biggest in the state. The total inflow from the rain in the catchment areas of the dam during the flood days was 3,000 million cubic metres (mcm). Of this substantial volume, the reservoir retained half and released only 1,500 mcm, thereby cutting half the impact of the rainfall on the downstream areas.
“The spill from Idamalayar also was halved likewise. The absence of such dams to control flood around Bhoothathankettu caused direct inflow from the rains which made the situation worse,” he said. “All this data is available to the public on from the website of KSEB’s load despatch station. The case of other dams was also similar.”
He also requested the public to extend the helpful and unified stand demonstrated during the rescue and relief operations to the KSEB by cutting down unnecessary electricity use between 6.30 pm to 9 pm, the peak power consumption period.
Minister calls for end to ‘misinformation campaign’
Pathanamthitta:Water Resources Minister Mathew T Thomas has called for an end to the “illogical comments” regarding the cause of the recent flood and subsequent damage in the state. The flood was caused by heavy rainfall and not the release of water from dams, he said, adding that comments raised by a section of people were not based on facts. It’s high time to put an end to the misinformation campaign, he said. Water from dams on the Pampa was released from August 9 onwards and not on August 14, he said. The KSEB authorities had confirmed about the timings of the release of water from the dams, including Kakki, Pampa, Moozhiyar and Kakkad, said Thomas.