Tamil Nadu likely to release water from Kerala's Mullaperiyar dam on Monday

Kerala has requested Tamil Nadu to avoid opening of spillway shutters during night hours to avoid panic in downstream areas.

Published: 18th July 2022 03:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th July 2022 03:42 AM   |  A+A-

Mullaperiyar Dam

Mullaperiyar Dam (File photo| EPS)

Express News Service

KOCHI: With the water level in Mullaperiyar dam touching 135.80 feet on Sunday evening, Tamil Nadu is expected to start controlled release of water from the reservoir on Monday on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Kerala has requested Tamil Nadu to avoid opening of spillway shutters during night hours to avoid panic in downstream areas. The state has also urged the dam supervisory committee to hold a virtual meeting to assess the situation.

As per the rule curve fixed by Tamil Nadu based on the Supreme Court direction, Tamil Nadu can store water up to 136.6 feet till July 20. The dam had a storage of 6,067 million cubic feet of water at 6pm on Sunday. The dam was receiving an inflow of 2,742 cusecs of water and TN was drawing 1,867 cusecs through the tunnels.

The water level in Mullaperiyar dam had risen by 2.4 feet on July 14, while the storage rose by 1.6 feet on July 15. However, there was a gradual decline in inflow in the following days. On Saturday, the water level rose by 0.68 feet only.

However, a few hours of heavy rain can change the scenario as Mullaperiyar has a catchment area of 624 sq km and the storage capacity is only 7.66 TMC. The dam had received an inflow of 32,000 cusecs in a day during the 2018 flood.

"There is no need for panic as the dam has a flood cushion of six feet. We have requested Tamil Nadu to avoid water release during night time. There is no threat of huge water release as the crest level of the dam is 136 feet and the inflow is very low. The KSEB has opened a control room and started monitoring the situation at Mullaperiyar," said KSEB expert advisory group member James Wilson.

"We have requested the Mullaperiyar supervisory committee to convene a virtual meeting on Monday to review the situation and discuss precautionary measures as the monsoon has become active," said irrigation chief engineer and Kerala's representative in the panel Alex Varghese.

"The introduction of the rule curve has helped the state understand the situation at Mullaperiyar. Tamil Nadu has agreed to conduct dam safety review as per the SC direction. We have raised the demand with the supervisory committee to include international experts in the panel for dam safety review," he said.

However, Dr Joe Joseph, the litigant in the Mullaperiyar case, demanded that Kerala should insist on implementation of the directions given by the SC to protect the state's interests. "The SC has vested more powers on the supervisory committee. As per the order, the panel should establish its office at Mullaperiyar dam site, employ its staff and take over the control of the dam operations. As Kerala has not insisted, Tamil Nadu continues to monitor and operate the dam," he said.

Mullaperiyar dam

  • Water level on Sunday  135.80 ft

  • Inflow: 2,742 cusecs

  • Discharge: 1,867 cusecs

  • Maximum storage: 142 feet

  • Dates on which Tamil Nadu can store water up to 142 feet:  September 20, November 30

India Matters


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