The expert team led by Mullaperiyar Special Cell Chief, M.K.Parameswaran, which visited the Mullaperiyar dam on Wednesday, found four new leakages developed to the century-old dam. The new leakages were found on the 9, 10, 17 and 18 blocks of the dam. There were earlier reports that considerable quantity of water was flowing from the 18 block, where the ‘surki' mixture which was used for the dam, had peeled off due to the considerable pressure of water.
The expert team told media persons that the four new leakages, found during the survey, was in addition to the leakages earlier ‘revealed’ when the water level was low. This clearly shows that the dam was weak and is poised to raise a threat.
There was allegation that the Public Works Department of Tamil Nadu had ‘concealed’ earlier leakages by temporarily filling them. The team which reached Mullaperiyar by 1 p.m. surveyed the dam till 4 p.m. The team included Special Cell member, M.Sasi, Irrigation Department Chief Executive Engineer, P.Lathika and Superintending Engineer, Radhakrishnan.
The visit was prompted by the reports of the police intelligence and Irrigation Department that there were leakages noticed in the 18the block of the dam, which revealed when the water level rose with the northeast monsoon. A Cabinet meeting on Tuesday decided to send the expert team to Mullaperiyar as the water level was considerably rising. The report of the team will be submitted to the government.
The water-level in the Mullaperiyar dam on Wednesday was 35.1 and there was a remarkable decline in the rain fall in the catchment areas for the two days. “However, since the water level has reached just below 0.9 ft of the full capacity of the dam, a sudden spell of continues rain could make the overflow of water through the Periyar,” said a senior official of the KSEB who camped the Mullaperiyar dam on Tuesday. The discharge of water into the Vaiga dam in Tamil Nadu was also increased, keeping the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam stable.
The water level in the Idukki reservoir, to where the water will be discharged after 136 ft in the Mullaperiyar dam, on Wednesday was 2,377.58 ft of its full storage capacity of 2,403 ft. Though the rain in the catchment area subsided considerably, the water level was increasing, said the official.