IDUKKI: The water level in the Mullaperiyar dam has been rising steadily over the last few days due to the incessant rain lashing the catchment areas for the past few days. While the maximum water level allowed is 142 feet, the reservoir had water up to 140.35ft at 4pm on Monday.
Tamil Nadu increased the amount of water being discharged from the dam via tunnels on Monday in the wake of high inflow. While the inflow was 2,300 cusecs till 5pm, Tamil Nadu has been withdrawing an equal amount of water from the dam to keep the water level stable. Till Sunday, Tamil Nadu had been withdrawing only 556 cusecs of water from the dam due to the high water level in the Vagai dam, where the neighbouring state stores the water discharged from Mullaperiyar dam.
According to the order of the Central Water Commission, Tamil Nadu, which is in charge of the dam, can maintain a water level of 142ft and is likely to raise the shutters only if the level touches this mark. Based on the protocol to release water, the neighbouring state on Sunday issued the first warning after the water level in the dam reached 140ft. Meanwhile, the second warning will be issued at 141ft and when the level reaches 142ft, shutters of the dam would be lifted.
If Tamil Nadu opens the shutters, it will be the second time within a year. Meanwhile, Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) on Monday said that it was releasing 0.155 million cubic metres (MCM) of water from Idukki reservoir. In case the rain subsides, the amount would be reduced or the spillway closed, it added.
The shutters of Cheruthoni dam were also opened for the second time this year on Sunday after the water level crossed the red alert level of 2,399ft. The shutters were last opened on October 19 after the water level crossed the orange alert level of 2,398 ft. The water level recorded in Idukki dam on Monday was 2,399.16 ft against the full reservoir level of 2,403 ft.