One shutter of Idukki's Cheruthoni dam opened, Kerala minister says no need to worry

Many dams were nearing the full reservoir level due to rains in catchment areas and a red alert has been issued in the Kakki-Anathod dam in Pathanamthitta district and Banasura Sagar dam in Wayanad.
Representational image. (Photo | TP Sooraj, EPS)
Representational image. (Photo | TP Sooraj, EPS)

IDUKKI: One shutter of the Cheruthoni dam of Idukki reservoir in Kerala was raised by 70 centimetres on Sunday to discharge excess water from the dam after the water level reached 2384.10 feet in the morning.

State Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine said by raising one shutter, 50 cumecs of water will be discharged from the dam while adding that there was no need for people living downstream to worry about the release.

"This means 50,000 litres of water will be discharged per second. However, this will not affect the people living downstream. The water level at Periyar river is at 793.29 meter and 794.2 metre is the warning level. There is almost one metre to reach the warning level. As of now, chances are less that the water level will rise even to the warning level," Augustine told the media here.

He said a disaster management meeting was held on Saturday with all the district authorities and local self government bodies to discuss the situation and necessary steps have been taken.

"Earlier, we have had a situation where 20,000 litres of water was discharged per second. However, today's situation is different and there is no need to worry," Augustine said.

A red alert in Idukki dam was issued after the water rose above 2,382.53 feet. Currently, the water level is 2384.22 feet.

The Idukki reservoir consists of two dams, the Arch dam and the Cheruthoni dam, and the shutters of Cheruthoni dam were opened for the first time in 26 years in 2018, to mitigate the worst flood faced by the state in a century.

This is the eight time the shutter has been raised now.

Meanwhile, three more shutters of the Mullaperiyar Dam, which is managed by the Tamil Nadu government, was increased on Sunday.

Earlier, 10 shutters were raised discharging excess water.

The rains have subdued in the state which had witnessed heavy showers since July 31.

However, many dams were nearing the full reservoir level due to rains in the catchment areas and a red alert has been issued in the Kakki-Anathod dam of Pathanamthitta district and the Banasura Sagar dam in Wayanad district.

"Red alert has been issued at Banasura Sagar Dam. The dam might be opened after 12 pm as the water level has reached 773.50 metres.The water level will reach the upper rule level of 774 metres," Wayanad District authorities said.

They said the opening of Banasura Sagar dam will result in rising water level of Kabani river by 10-15 centimetres and asked the people to remain cautious.

Similarly, Kakki-Anathod dam has also been issued a red alert and district authorities said the dam will be opened after considering the rain situation along with the water level of Pamba river.

Pathanamthitta District Collector Divya S Iyer said there are chances of water level rising in the Pamba dam and cautioned the people who are living downstream.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a yellow alert in eight districts of the state.

Meanwhile, the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) had said that 21 people lost their lives since July 31 till July 6 in various rain-related incidents in Kerala while five people are still missing.

A total of 41 houses have been fully damaged and 353 were partially damaged.

There are 372 active relief camps in the state which houses 14,482 inmates.

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