Kerala

Chaos in downstream villages

There was utter confusion in the downstream villages of Vallakadavu, Vandiperiyar, Chappathu, Upputhara, and Ayyappancoil on Monday night as the Idukki district administration failed to alert the people in time on the release of water from the Mullaperiyar dam.

When the water level in the Periyar rose, people came out of their houses at midnight and shouted slogans against the authorities.

Local protest

Though a large number of policemen reached the area for an evacuation drive, the people refused to move to rescue shelters, which had already been in place.

At 5 a.m. on Tuesday the shutters were closed. It took two hours for the water released from Mullaperiyar to reach the downstream Idukki reservoir.

Only 58.87 per cent of the total storage of the Idukki dam is filled and there appears to be no chance of opening the Idukki dam even if a large quantity of water is released from Mullaperiyar.

Small quantum

There is no alarming situation in the district as the water being released is of small quantum, said the Idukki Collector, who held a meeting with people’s representatives at the panchayat community hall, Upputhara, on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the District Collectors of Theni and Idukki visited the Mullaperiyar dam and discussed the steps to be taken for ensuring the safety of the people downstream.

There is also the possibility of a surge in the water level as the Vaigai dam is nearing its maximum level.

In case there is increased inflow into the Mullaperiyar dam and Tamil Nadu reduces the intake of water, more shutters of the dam will be opened to release water to the Idukki dam.

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Printable version | Oct 29, 2020 10:37:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/chaos-in-downstream-villages/article7963579.ece

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