Kerala rains: Expert committee to decide on opening of dam shutters; 184 relief camps activated

Sabarimala pilgrimage for the 'Tula Masa Puja' has been called off due to rain-related calamities, and the full reopening of colleges has been postponed till October 25.

Published: 18th October 2021 01:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th October 2021 08:04 PM   |  A+A-

Kerala rain

The water level has increased in Pampa river in Sabarimala following the incessant rain on Saturday. (Photo | Shaji Vettipuram)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In the wake of water levels rising in reservoirs across the state due to heavy rainfall over the past few days, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has directed an expert committee to monitor the water level and take a decision on opening dam shutters if needed.

Chairing a high-level meeting to assess the rain-related calamities, the Chief Minister also directed the expert committee to inform District Collectors beforehand about opening dam shutters so there is adequate time to evacuate people in case of any eventualities due to the sudden opening of dams.

A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been sent to Alappuzha due to the likelihood of water levels rising in Kuttanad due to opening of shutters of Kakki dam.

As many as 184 relief camps have been opened across the state and authorities have been directed to make all arrangements for people shifted there. The Revenue Department will be assisted by the Department of Local Self Government and local voluntary groups to ensure proper facilities in camps.

ALSO READ: Plans to release water from dams cause flood concerns, alerts issued at Idukki, Idamalayar

Government agencies and local people have been actively involved in searching for missing persons. People living in landslide-prone areas have been asked to shift to safer locations. The Chief Minister asked District Collectors to prepare a detailed estimate on the loss to life, property and crops. Disbursement of relief should be hastened, he directed.

The high-level meeting also decided to call off the Sabarimala pilgrimage for the 'Tula Masa Puja' owing to the rain fury. Nilackal and Perunthenaruvi areas near Sabarimala had received up to 20 cm of rain on Sunday alone and shutters of Kakki dam nearby had been opened. In the wake of rising water levels in rivers, the possibility of landslides and the forecast of heavy rain from Wednesday, the meeting decided it would be ideal not to conduct the pilgrimage. The Pathanamthitta district administration has been directed to ensure the safe return of pilgrims who have already reached Nilackal base camp.

The reopening of colleges for classes other than final year students has been postponed till October 25 in the wake of the rain disaster. Regular offline classes for final year degree and PG students had begun on October 4.

Meanwhile, the death toll due to rain-related incidents in the state stood at 37 on Monday evening. 

A decision was taken to open the shutters of the Idukki dam at 11 am on Tuesday. As a result, the district administration has sounded an alert to people living in the vicinity of the dam.

Red alert has been declared in KSEB reservoirs such as Kakki and Moozhiyar in Pathanamthitta, Sholayar and Poringalkuthu in Thrissur and Kandala, Kallarukutty, Mattupetty and Lower Periyar in Idukki. Orange alert has been declared in Idukki, Mattupetti, Ponmudi, Pamba and blue alert has been sounded in Idamalayar in Ernakulam.

Among dams controlled by the Irrigation Department, red alert has been declared in Peechi and Chimmini. While Kallada, Chulliyar, Meenkara, Malampuzha and Mangalam dams are in orange alert, blue alert has been declared in Vazhani and Pothundi.

Along with the Chief Minister, Revenue Minister K Rajan, Electricity Minister K Krishnankutty, Chief Secretary V P Joy and other senior officials participated in the high-level meeting.



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