Kerala: Calm Periyar river soothes villagers downstream

Water level in river rises only by 0.5ft, though two spillway gates of Mullaperiyar dam opened, say residents

Published: 30th October 2021 02:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th October 2021 02:41 AM   |  A+A-

Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine and Revenue Minister K Rajan watch employees lift the spillway gates of the Mullaperiyar dam.

Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine and Revenue Minister K Rajan watch employees lift the spillway gates of the Mullaperiyar dam.

Express News Service

IDUKKI: From politics to crops and climate vagaries, residents of Vallakadavu — a sleepy village nestled in the downstream of the Mullaperiyar dam — gather at a small junction at Kurishumoodu everyday to talk about everything under the sun and more. The regular crowd comprising farmers, forest workers, tea sellers and daily wagers was little different on Friday morning. The topic of discussion, however, solely surrounded the swelling Periyar river. 

Fortunately, Periyar flowed quite as it is, although it carried a torrent of held-up water released via the spillway of the Mullaperiyar dam on Friday. Though the authorities raised two shutters (3 and 4) of the reservoir to release nearly 550 cusecs of water, it only led to a 0.5ft increase in the river’s water level. “The dam’s shutters were raised by 7.30am. But the water level in Periyar started to surge only by 10.45am,” said Lazar M, an area resident.

As many as 288 people who feared the possibility of a flood had shifted to relief camps opened in Manjumala, Elappara, Periyar, Upputhara and Anavilasam villages ahead of the raising of the shutters, while others sought shelter in the houses of relatives and friends living on higher grounds.

Even though the authorities had warned residents of possible floods downstream, the water hardly hampered normal life. Even areas such as Attoram in Manjumala and Vallakadavu in Vandiperiyar, which are chronically prone to flooding, did not report any such situation.

“We have been on high alert over the last few days as the weather department had predicted heavy rainfall and the dam gate opening was also announced,” said Ramesh Madhavan, deputy tahsildar in charge of Peermade taluk.

“However, no case of flooding has been reported from Manjumala and Periyar villages of Peermade taluk so far. A decision on whether the camp inmates should be sent back to their homes will be taken after assessing the weather situation in the coming days,” the deputy tahsildar added.


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  • g chandrasekar

    This write up is a solid proof that water released from Mulaperiyar could cause no havoc to the people of Kerala. This is part of the disinformation campaign let loose by the resorts lobby in Kerala which has the support of major political parties including CPIM. The resort lobby has caused havoc to the Western Ghats and is solely responsible for the floods Kerala has been facing for the past few years. Since Keralites by and large have aversion to the Tamils, the campaign of the resorts lobby has so far succeeded. But disinformation cannot last long. It is time that Kerala government implemented the recommendations of Madhav Gadgil and Kasturirangan committee report and save the ghats from the concrete construction passion of the people there
    11 months ago reply
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