Kerala govt asks TN govt to release water from Mullaperiyar dam in a phased manner


Team Udayavani, Aug 8, 2020, 5:19 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government Saturday asked the Tamil Nadu government to release water from Mullaperiyar through the tunnel to Vaigai Dam in a phased manner when the water level reaches 136 feet in view of the heavy rains received by the Idukki district.

In a letter, Kerala Chief Secretary Vishwas Mehta asked his Tamil Nadu counterpart to inform the state government24 hours prior to opening of the shutters.

“The state is receiving heavy rains especially in the Idukki district. The water level in the catchment area of Mullaperiyar has been steadily rising. The water level, which was at 116.20 feet on August 3 is up to 131.25 feet by 2 pm on August 7,” Mehta said in his letter.

He also pointed out that the Met office has issued a red alert for Saturday and Sunday in the district indicating extreme heavy rainfall and currently the inflow to the dam is 13,257 cusecs of water and the outflow through the tunnel is 1,650 cusecs.

The Kerala government also informed the neighbouring state that within the last 24 hours, Mullaperiyar Dam and Thekkady received 19.8 cm and 15.7 cm of rainfall respectively and the water level went up by seven feet during this period.

In the letter sent to Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary K Shanmughan, Mehtasaid as per information provided by the Executive Engineer of MI Division at Kattappana, the surplus shutters of Tamil Nadu-controlled Periyar dam was capable of releasing 1,22,000 cusecs of water.

“We know the extent of damage when 23,000 cusecs of water were released in 2018. Hence, necessary steps should be taken to release water in a phased manner,” he added.

According to information provided by the Idukki district administration, the current water level at Mullaperiyar at 3 pm on August 8 was 134.50 feet.

Meanwhile, Idukki district Collector H Dineshan told P T I, he had held a telephonic discussion with the Theni Collector who had assured him to inform Kerala prior to opening the shutters.

“The Idukki district administration has made all arrangements to shift the people in case of any emergency. We need at least two hours to shift people. The water level at Mullaperiyar is likely to increase as the IMD has issued a red alert for today and tomorrow,” Dineshan said.

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