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Edappadi K Palaniswami to Kerala CM: Mullaiperiyar dam is safe, won’t exceed 142-ft

The Kerala government today described as "completely baseless" rumours being spread in social media sites like WhatsApp and Facebook that the Mullaperiyar dam has developed some cracks.

Published: 17th August 2018 01:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th August 2018 02:38 AM   |  A+A-

Mullaperiyar Dam. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

TRIVANDRUM: Rejecting the demand from Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to lower the storage level of Mullaiperiyar dam to 139 feet, his Tamil Nadu counterpart Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday said that Kerala was not permitting TN officials to gauge the rainfall in the catchments and Tamil Nadu officials were compelled to assess the inflow based only on the actual rate of rise in water level in the dam. 

Palaniswami also requested Vijayan to inform his officials to share the rainfall data in the catchment of Mullaiperiyar dam with Tamil Nadu officials on a real time basis. “The dam is safe and Tamil Nadu government is maintaining the releases through the spillways so as not to exceed the permitted water storage level at 142 feet,” Palaniswami said responding to a letter of Vijayan dated August 15, after chairing a high-level meeting.

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He said the Supreme Court (SC) appointed supervisory committee had been inspecting the dam periodically and in the last inspection carried out on August 4, the panel found that the dam was safe to store water up to 142 ft. “Therefore, there is no threat to the safety of the dam and water is being stored at the permitted level of 142 feet as per orders of the SC,” he added. 

Meanwhile, the SC asked National Crisis Management Disaster sub-committee of Mullaiperiyar dam to consider reducing water levels to 139 ft. “Mullaiperiyar dam is safe in all respects viz., hydrologically, seismically and structurally as per the SC order dated May 7, 2014,” said the CM.

“During the past, the dam was inspected by many experts on several occasions and they had also found that the dam is safe in all aspects.  The chairman, sub-committee of Mullai Periyar dam during the inspection on August 15 has found that the Digital Water Level Recorder is functioning well. In addition, there are several gauge plates installed to ascertain the water level of the dam,” Palaniswami said. The Chief Minister also said water had been transferred from Mullaiperiyar dam to Vaigai basin to the maximum extent possible through the tunnel. When inflows started to increase in the dam, there had been continuous co-ordination between the engineers of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and the respective district Collectors.

Palaniswami said the Water Resources Department of TN had been maintaining the releases through the spillways so as not to exceed the permitted water storage level at 142 feet duly giving periodical warnings to all concerned in Kerala. Drawing the attention of Kerala Chief Minister to the issue of restoration of power supply to Mullaiperiyar dam and its appurtenant structures, Palaniswami recalled that as agreed to by Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Rs 1.65 crore had been deposited by Tamil Nadu with Kerala State Electricity Board to restore power.

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Stating that the TN government had been in constant touch with Kerala Kerala State Electricity Board for restoring power supply to the dam, but of no avail. “I would request you to kindly issue instructions to the authorities concerned to take immediate steps to restore the power supply to the dam and its appurtenant structures,” he said.

Warning signs
The Central Water Commission (CWC) issued warning No 4 on Thursday, saying that over 2.1 lakh cusecs of water is expected to reach the Mettur dam within two days. The statement said rains in Karnataka and Kerala were likely to result in release of water from the Kabini and Krishna Raja Sagar dams and that the downstream areas should be informed. Areas of Bhavani in Erode district shall be informed of a combined release of 2.5 lakh to 2.6 lakh cusecs and Bhavanisagar dams and the downstream areas of Thirumukkudal (Karur) shall be informed of the combined release in the range of 2.6 lakh to 2.8 lakh cusecs from the Mettur, Bhavanisagar and Amaravathi dams, the release said. Revenue and Disaster Management Minister RB Udhayakumar has asked residents of Srirangam, Tiruchy, Mukkombu, Thottiyam, and Komarapalayam to exercise caution. He said that relief centres in the above areas have been opened. 

overflowing dams submerge Kumari
Nagercoil: A 100-odd families at Kaliyal near Kulasekaram and Mangadu at Kuzhithurai in the district were cut off from the mainland for the second day on a trot as copious reception at Chittar 1 and 2 dams forced water managers to release water. The gushing water from the dams flooded 60 houses near Kaliyal. Around 45 residents of Nattamoodu and Karunchirai were evacuated. The situation was none too different in Keeriparai, where 167 families of Government Rubber Corporation workers remained marooned in their labour camps as Perunchani dam continued to wreak havoc



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