THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:The KSEB on Wednesday refuted allegations levelled against it in the aftermath of floods. KSEB dam management is based on a slew of factors including IMD forecast, the storage of dam in the previous year during the same time, and expected inflow of water in the coming days.
KSEB said the IMD had predicted a “normal monsoon” in its long-range forecast. Further, the IMD used to issue forecasts in shorter intervals of days and weeks. But only minor changes can be made on the storage of dams based on the short notice warnings. The IMD had also not forecast a rain with over 204 mm in its August 9 bulletin. And there was nothing unusual in its bulletins for KSEB to take extraordinary precautionary measures in the state, the KSEB clarified.
Almost all hydel power stations generated optimum level of power in July itself after the state received a good monsoon. Further, the shutters of these dams were opened at regular intervals based on the inflow into the reservoirs. And the statistics related to the amount of water flowed through the Periyar river during the peak time of flood shows that Idukki and Idamalayar reservoirs have constituted only 37 per cent of the total inflow of the water through the Periyar.
Around 56 per cent of the catchment area of the Periyar river lies above the Bhoothathankettu reservoir and 44 per cent below the reservoir. Those who flay the KSEB failed to take notice of the rainwater that reached into the river from the catchment areas of the river. The situation is not different in Pampa as well. Pamba and Kakki reservoirs have constituted only 29 per cent of the water flowed through the Pampa, and rest of the water was from its catchment areas below the reservoirs, the KSEB said.
The trial run from Idukki was postponed in the event of sudden bouts of rain, which filled the Idamalayat dam in a record time. So, the KSEB had to postpone the trial run as the water from Idukki would rapidly increase the water level in Idamalyar, which was already opened, increasing the volume of total discharge.
In the case of Banasura Sagar reservoir, the KSEB can’t hold the water in the reservoir for long in the event of water reaching full reservoir capacity as the reservoir was an earth dam.
There is also no point in the allegation that the flood can be avoided if the shutters of the Idukki dam was opened earlier. The water level in Idukki reservoir has reached the shutter crest of 2,373 feet on July 18. So the officials can discharge only 10 per of the total water in the reservoir during the period from July 18 considering the inflow of the water into the reservoir, said KSEB.
Flood caused Rs 820 crore loss to KSEB infrastructure. Also, the hydel power altogether constitutes only 30 per cent of the total power requirement of the state. So, there is no point in saying that KSEB was delaying the opening of dam shutters deliberately to reap huge benefit considering the gravity of the loss it incurred and its annual contribution of hydel power, the KSEB said.
HC seeks government view on regulating water flow
Kochi: The High Court on Tuesday sought the state government’s view on a petition seeking a probe into the delay in regulating the outflow of water in proportion to the inflow. The court issued the order on the petition filed by T G Mohan Das of Kochi alleging lapses on the part of government officers. V Sajith Kumar, the petitioner’s counsel, subm-itted the failure to regulate the outflow from August 10 created the deluge. Thus, it was a man-made disaster. “Officers’ responses prove that ignoring the weather forecast, they waited to acquire 100 per cent capacity in all dams simultaneously which went out of control by August 15 midnight, resulting in the releasing of water which caused the deluge,” the petitioner submitted.