Idukki had a peaceful day on Thursday as the rains slackened off in the catchment areas of the dams.

Fears were aflame that people living in Mullaperiyar area might have to be evacuated on Thursday as the century-old dam would overflow.

The intensity of rain in the past few days made people fear that water would spill over the dam by Thursday evening. However, there was little rainfall in the area during the last 24 hours.

Ajith B. Patil, District Collector of Idukki, said the day passed off without any calamities and no landslides and rain-related damage were reported from the district.

Since there has not been any significant rise in the water level in the reservoir, the proposal for evacuating people has been put on hold. The water level in the dam has idled at 135.2 feet.

Water from the reservoir would reach the downstream areas if the storage level goes up beyond 136 feet.

The question whether people in the Mullaperiyar area should be moved to safety will be raised only if the reservoir level crosses 136 feet. “If the present weather pattern persists for a few more days, which is likely, the dam is unlikely to overflow,” he said.

The authorities have decided not to activate the evacuation plans considering the improved weather conditions and the reluctance of the local population to move to the relief camps.

However, the administrative system and the rescue and relief mechanisms had been put on alert to meet any eventuality, he said.

Even if an emergency evacuation of local population would have to be carried out, it would be routed through the local bodies. A joint committee of the local civic body heads and revenue officials has been formed for coordinated rescue and evacuation operations. Local panchayat presidents and civic representatives will give the call to the local population to move to safety in case of any emergency. The Revenue officials will provide the required back-up for evacuating people.

Any decision to open the shutters of Idukki dam will be taken at the State level as it would have a bearing on the power production. Water level remained more or less constant during the past 24 hours here, too. The event of the dam filling up to its brim was quite unlikely and only a combination of extreme weather conditions would lead to such a situation, sources said.

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