Water level in the reservoir goes up to 2,485 feet; district administration monitoring the situation

The water level in the Kakkayam reservoir went up to 2,485 feet, prompting the district administration to issue an alert on Tuesday.

District Control Room officials told The Hindu that they had received an urgent call from local authorities in the Kakkayam area of Koorachundu panchayat, stating that the dam shutters may have to be opened considering the rising water level.

“We were informed that the water level had risen past 2,485 feet, that is a foot above ‘normal capacity.’ We were asked to issue a public warning. Power generation is at maximum there,” District Collector C.A. Latha said.

In the event of an evacuation, there were over 100 houses where people could temporarily stay, the Collector said.

She but downplayed the situation, saying there was no cause for panic as the excess water usually flowed into the Kuttiyadi reservoir, which powered the 225-MW Kuttiyadi hydel project, situated six km downhill from the dam site. Ms. Latha said the administration was closely monitoring the situation.

“This year alone, the dam was opened nine times owing to heavy rain. This is high compared to last year, when the shutters were not opened even once,” Augustine Karakkada, Koorachundu grama panchayat president, said. “Usually, the excess water flows down the Orakuzhi way downhill to Kariyathumpara river and ends tamely at the Kuttiyadi reservoir,” he said.

Data on the official website of the Meteorological Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, said Kozhikode district was ‘facing rainfall of 7.2 mm to 11.4 mm.’ It said isolated places in the State would get have heavy rainfall exceeding 7 cm till September 19. The Collector confirmed the data in a separate communication.

“The entire region is getting very heavy rainfall. As of now, no loss of life, crop, or property have been reported,” Ms. Latha said.

The district was yet to recover from the losses caused during the monsoon. Losses had been put at Rs.64 crore.

More than 35 houses were destroyed, while over 700 damaged. A report prepared by the District Collector stated that Rs.5 crore was spent on rescue and emergency operations in the district this year.

In July, a road was washed away near the Kakkayam dam site. A minor landslip had occurred recently at nearby Chakkittapara panchayat following heavy rain. In 2012, a landslip at Pulloorampara in the same belt had claimed eight lives.

Areas such as Thiruvambadi and Kakkayam were landslip-prone areas with a majority settler population.

In a recent development, the district’s long-pending demand for a National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) got a positive response with Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Mullappally Ramachandran stating that the Centre was ready to deploy three companies of NDRF in the district. The district administration had said in a statement that Mr. Ramachandran suggested using a ‘poramboke’ land in Perambra-Eravattur village in Vadakara to house the NDRF companies.

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