Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Revenue Minister K. P. Rajendran announced on Thursday that the State Government would prepare a comprehensive disaster mitigation plan for Mullaperiyar.

The Minister was addressing a press conference here on his return from Idukki district, after organising mitigation measures in view of the rising water level in the Mullaperiyar dam.

The Minister said that the disaster management division of the Mahatma Gandhi University would be primarily responsible for drawing up the plan. Assistance would be sought from the Centre for Earth Science Studies, Geological Survey of India, Land Use Board, Institute of Land Management, Institute of Rock Mechanics (Hyderabad) and the Indian Space Research Organisation.

Mr. Rajendran said that the Government had submitted detailed report on the situation at Mullaperiyar to the National Disaster Management Authority and sought its help on resources available for disaster management and mitigation.

He said the Government was ready to evacuate about 200 families from the banks of the Mullaperiyar river, downstream of the dam, if needed. The people of the area, especially women and children, were terror-stricken on account of the flood discharge from the Mullaperiyar dam and fears about its failure.

He said that seven control rooms had been opened in the area for keeping a watch on the situation and taking appropriate measures. Helipads had been set up in the area so that the assistance of armed forces could be used in case of an emergency. Additional police force and equipment had also been rushed to the district. Neighbouring districts had been directed to provide any assistance sought by the Idukki Collector for the management of the situation. A sum of Rs.25 lakh had been allocated to the district for undertaking various measures including shifting of people to safe areas and repair of roads.

The water level in the Idukki reservoir was 2,350.46 feet. from the mean sea level on Wednesday. The full reservoir level was 2,403 feet.

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