Water level just 2 feet short of full reservoir level of 2,403 ft
The Idukki district administration has made all preparations for opening the Idikki dam and is awaiting the Kerala State Electricity Board’s decision in this regard.
The water level in the dam was short by just 2 ft to reach the full reservoir level of 2,403 ft on Friday evening, according to an official of the KSEB’s control room atop the Cheruthoni dam.
District Collector Ajit Patil told The Hindu on Friday that the control room was monitoring the situation every hour and giving inputs to various department on the latest position. If the water level continues to rise at the same rate, the dam has to be opened on Sunday. K.K. Karuppankutty, Chief Engineer, Dam Safety, KSEB, will visit the dam on Saturday to oversee the steps for opening the dam.
With the inflow recording a higher level since afternoon, the water level was rising at a rate of 0.04 ft an hour against 0.02 ft in the morning.
The catchment area received heavy rainfall (68 mm) during the 24 hours ending Friday morning.
Power generation at the Moolamattom power house was 9.77 million units as per Friday morning estimates. The production was maintained at a maximum level on Thursday to keep the water level in the dam under control.
A public warning will be issued prior to the opening of the dam and the district administration has prepared a plan for providing temporary rehabilitation to those who may get affected. A senior official said that it all depended on the level of water discharge. If the rain subsides, the water to be released will be of a lower quantity.
After the water level reaches 2,402.5 ft, the central gate of the Cheruthoni dam will be opened and the two gates next to it will be opened if more water is to be released.
The district administration has opened control rooms at the villages that may be affected. It has drawn up a list of schools and buildings to be opened as relief centres. The areas likely to be affected have been marked, said an official of the Revenue Department.
The shutters of the dam had to be opened twice in the past, both during the northeast monsoon. The first time was in 1981 and the second time in 1992.