Kerala launches evacuation drive as TN set to release water from Mullaperiyar at 7 am on Friday
Tamil Nadu has not informed Kerala about the quantity of water they are planning to release. It is learned that the Tamil Nadu government will take a call on water release based on the inflow.
IDUKKI: With the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam reaching 138.15 feet and Tamil Nadu announcing the release of water from the dam at 7 am on Friday, the Idukki district administration has launched a massive evacuation drive in the downstream areas of the dam.
As many as 1,769 people belonging to 554 families including 693 men, 747 women and 329 children have been evacuated and shifted to 21 relief camps in Thodupuzha and Peerumedu taluks by 10 am. The district administration has deployed vehicles to transport the people to the camps. The plan is to shift 3220 people belonging to 884 families.
Water resources minister Roshy Augustine said that the elderly and people suffering from various ailments will be provided special care in the relief camps. Houses have been divided into groups and volunteers have been deployed to help families shift to the camps and ensure facilities for them. He said there is no need to panic and all arrangements have been made to meet any eventuality. The minister will visit Idukki and review the evacuation drive on Thursday afternoon. A high-level meeting will be held at 4 pm to assess the situation.
Tamil Nadu has not informed Kerala about the quantity of water they are planning to release. It is learned that the Tamil Nadu government will take a call on water release based on the inflow. The dam was receiving an inflow of 5,800 cusecs at 11 am and the discharge was 2,300 cusecs.
Once Tamil Nadu opens the spillways, the water will flow down to Vallakkadavu, the first village downstream, within 20 minutes. The water will flow down through Manjumala, Vandiperiyar, Mlamala, Santhipalam, Chappathu, Aalady, Upputhara, Anavilasam, Ayyapankovil and Kanchiyar and discharge into the Idukki reservoir by 12 noon. The water level in the Idukki reservoir stood at 2398.22 feet at 9 am on Thursday and the dam was receiving a steady inflow 0.741 mcm per hour. If water is released from Mullaperiyar, KSEB will have to open the spillways of the Idukki dam as the rule curve for October 30 is 2,398.86 feet and the dam has the capacity to store only 4 feet of water as the full reservoir level is 2,403 feet.
Kerala will seek immediate relief from the Supreme Court on Thursday considering the rain situation in Idukki and the high water level in the Idukki reservoir. As per the rule curve approved by the Central Water Commission, Tamil Nadu can store up to 139.5 feet of water in the Mullaperiyar dam on November 10 and 141 feet on November 20. The rule curve from November 30 is the maximum level of 142 feet permitted by the Supreme Court. Kerala has sought to bring down the maximum storage level to 139 feet considering the flood situation prevailing in the downstream state, said Kerala’s standing counsel in the Supreme Court G Prakash. Kerala has argued that a permanent solution for the issue will be the decommissioning of the Mullaperiyar dam and construction of a new dam.