Tamil Nadu Opens Mullaperiyar Dam; Kerala’s Idukki On High Alert

Tamil Nadu:  On Friday raised shutters of the Mullaperiyar dam located in the upper reaches of the Periyar River in Kerala to release the excess water filled to the brim. People familiar with the matter said that at least 3,000 people living downstream of the Mullaperiyar dam were evacuated as a precautionary measure. The water is expected to reach the Idukki reservoir in neighbouring Kerala in a few hours, with the district put on high alert. Many houses have been submerged since the dam opened at 7 AM on Friday; however, no untoward incident was reported.

Water from the Mullaperiyar dam is being released to maintain its level at 138 feet and will reach the Idukki reservoir in 2 hours. If the need arises, the Idukki dam might be opened too to ease the pressure. Kerala water resources minister Roshy Augustine, urged people not to panic and added that there was nothing to be concerned about. He said the storage capacity of Idukki was 70.5 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) as compared to 12.758 TMC of Mullaperiyar and therefore, the water released from the latter would only raise the former’s level by a quarter of afoot.

“Therefore, Idukki will be able to contain the water released from the Mullaperiyar,” the minister said. The Supreme Court on Thursday asked Kerala and Tamil Nadu governments to abide by the decision taken by the Supervisory Committee regarding the appropriate water level in the Mullaperiyar dam. The supervisory committee has recommended maintaining the Mullaperiyar dam water level at 139.5 feet. Meanwhile, dam authorities in Kerala are taking cognizance of the situation that can arise out of the torrential rainfall.

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