High alert in Periyar basin as Kerala govt orders opening dam floodgates

Shutters of Idukki & Idamalayar dams to be raised today; 100 cubic metres of water will be released per second 

Published: 19th October 2021 06:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th October 2021 06:18 AM   |  A+A-

Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine, Idukki District Collector Sheeba George and KSEB officials visiting the Idukki reservoir area on Monday | Shiyami

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The state is bracing for a situation similar to the 2018 flood as major dams will open their floodgates on Tuesday. With water level in Idukki reservoir touching 2,397.52 feet at 6pm on Monday, the government issued orders to release water from the reservoir  at 11am on Tuesday.

The dam’s storage is 93.60 per cent full. Two spillway gates of the dam will be raised by 50 cm at 11 am on Tuesday, releasing 100 cubic metres of water per second. An alert cautioning people living on the banks of Periyar in the downstream areas of Cheruthoni dam has been sounded and 222 people belonging to 64 households in five panchayats have been shifted to relief camps.

Two spillway gates of Idamalayar dam will be opened to a height of 80 cm at 6 am on Tuesday, releasing 100 cubic metres of water per second. The water level in the dam stood at 165.59 m at 7 pm and the dam has 90.32 per cent storage. The decision to open the two major dams has been taken in view of the IMD forecast about isolated heavy rain from Wednesday. The  release of water from two major dams has been planned in such a way so as to ensure enough time for water from Idamalayar to drain out into the sea, before water from Idukki dam reaches Aluva and downstream areas.

“The water release should be planned considering the high tide timings in Kochi. The maximum high tide limit in Kochi is 0.86 m at 11.16 am and the low tide is at 5.45 pm. So the water should reach Kochi around 3 pm. Heavy flow during high tide time will lead to a situation similar to 2018 and there will be flooding at Paravur, Aluva, Kalamassery areas,” cautioned environmental scientist and Kerala Nature Protection Council president CM Joy.

Meanwhile, the flood gates of Kakki-Anathodu and Sholayar reservoirs were opened on Monday. Two shutters of the dam were raised to a height of 30 cm on Monday morning.. As water gushed down the Kakki-Anathodu dam, water level in the Pampa rose up around 10-15 cm. “We are expecting flooding at Chengannur, Pandanadu and Thiruvanvandoor areas by Monday night  and people living in low-lying areas are being shifted to higher ground,” said Fisheries Minister Saji Cherian. Water level is rising in Upper Kuttanad areas and the AC Road has been submerged at several places.

Water was released from Sholayar dam at 10 am on Monday as the dam’s storage reached 98 per cent. The water level in the dam stood at 2,663 feet at 6 pm and one shutter was opened, releasing around 100 cubic metres of water per second. The water level in the dam increased as Tamil Nadu released 6,000 cusecs of water on Monday.


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