Flood alert as Periyar dam level touches 140 ft

The PWD can draw a maximum of 2,000 cusecs from the dam  

The first flood warning was issued to wayside villages in Kerala and Tamil Nadu on Thursday as water discharge from the Mullaperiyar dam may increase any time with the level touching 140 feet, thanks to incessant rain.

If the rain continues for two more days, the storage would reach 142 feet, the level permitted by the Supreme Court.

PWD officials alerted both Theni and Idukki district administrations in Tamil Nadu and Kerala respectively in this connection.

People residing in villages near downstream areas of Vallakadavu, Vandi Periyar, Elappara, Manchumala, Upputhara, Anavilasam, Ayyappankovil and nearby areas in Kerala were advised to move to safe areas.

Monitoring of inflow, storage level and other parameters on an hourly basis commenced as per the direction of the three-member SC appointed Supervisory Committee.

A second flood warning will be issued when the level touches 141 feet. Issuance of third and final flood warning and discharge of excess water will take place simultaneously when the level touches 142 feet. The storage in Periyar dam not only cheered farmers in the Cumbum valley and southern districts but would also prevent migration of farm workers to Madurai, Tirupur and Kerala. It would also benefit rain-fed areas in southern districts and enhance drinking water availability.

Water was released recently through the 18{+t}{+h}channel to fill 44 tanks in Bodi and Theveram block for indirect irrigation and in PTR and Thanthai Periyar channels for direct irrigation, said PWD officials.

However, PWD officials were not in a hurry to increase the discharge with an aim of letting the level rise to 142 feet to prove again that the dam was strong enough to store more water.

When the level crosses 142-foot mark, they would double the discharge to 1,000 cusecs from 511 cusecs to maintain storage in the Vaigai dam and irrigate single crop in rain-fed areas of Theni and the second crop in the Cumbum valley.

“The PWD could draw a maximum of 2,000 cusecs from the dam and the excess water would be drained through 13 vents,” an official added.

The water level touched 140.1 feet on November 14 last year.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 12:20:56 AM |

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