IDUKKI/THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Tamil Nadu on Tuesday opened three of the 13 spillway shutters of the Mullaperiyar dam without informing the Kerala Irrigation Department, even as Theni Collector Venkitachalam promised to keep the water level at Mullaperiyar at 141 feet.
The three shutters were raised by half an inch, as around 600 cubic feet water per second cascaded into the Idukki dam.The water level in the Mullaperiyar dam was marked at 141.78 feet.
Later, Idukki District Collector V Ratheeshan held a meeting with his Theni counterpart Venkitachalam at Kumily, and protested against TN’s move to open the shutters without warning. The water level in the Idukki reservoir rose by 0.2 feet to touch 2364.72 feet after receiving water from Mullaperiyar.
TN increased the amount of water it draws from the dam to 1913 cubic feet per second from 1816 cubic feet per second through pen stock pipes and Iraichilpalam. Meanwhile, water covered many houses in Vallakkadavu and Karuppupalam and farm lands in Chappathu, leading to a public protest.
Chandy raps TN
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy informed the Assembly that the government would take up Mullaperiyar issue with the Supreme Court and PM Narendra Modi.
“I will raise the issue of TN not following the safety guidelines and the concern of the people with the PM and Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharathi during my visit to Delhi on Wednesday or Thursday,” Chandy told the Assembly while replying to the notice for an adjournment motion moved by CPI’s E S Bijimol. Chandy said the government would file a petition in the SC that TN had opened dam shutters without giving the mandatory 12-hour notice to the state.
Chandy noted that the attitude of TN was “unfortunate and condemnable.” “They were asked to draw maximum water from Mullaperiyar, but their response was negative. I had even sent a fax to the TN Chief Minister stating that situation was bad. But the TN government did not cooperate.”
Chandy asserted that the government’s stand was “water for Tamil Nadu and safety for Kerala.” He added that TN was not ready to sit together to find a permanent solution. Meanwhile, Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan demanded that the government should raise the Mullaperiyar issue with the National Human Rights Commission.