Government machinery fully prepared for release for water from Mullaperiyar dam, says Roshy Augustine

A view of the Mullaperiyar dam on Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. File   | Photo Credit: H. Vibhu

The State government machinery is fully prepared for the release of water from the Mullaperiyar dam, Minister for Water Resources Roshy Augustine said on Thursday.

Arrangements for ensuring the safety of people residing on the banks of the Periyar have been completed, Mr. Augustine said, adding there was no need for concern.

Evacuation strategies will be finalised after Tamil Nadu informs Kerala about the volume of water to be released, Mr. Augustine told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram before heading to Idukki district to oversee the arrangements.

On Wednesday, Tamil Nadu had informed Kerala that water will be released from the dam at 7 a.m. on Friday if the water level does not decrease.

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Twenty relief camps have been arranged for evacuating families downstream if the need arises, Mr. Augustine said. Vehicles and special equipment and machinery including excavators have been kept in readiness for handling emergencies. “Special arrangements have been made for the evacuation of the elderly and the sick. COVID-19 protocols will be strictly adhered to,” he said. The Revenue Divisional Officer, Idukki, is in charge of the arrangements and two deputy collectors have been specially posted in the region.

Disaster management, revenue and police personnel and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in the region, the Minister added.

He reiterated the Kerala Government’s stand that the upper rule level of 138 ft is not acceptable to the State. He, nevertheless, welcomed Tamil Nadu’s readiness to release water once that level was reached and also to draw more water from the dam.

‘’We are not ready to accept the upper rule curve of 138 feet. We objected because our demand that the water level be kept at 137 feet was not accepted,’’ the Minister said, justifying the Kerala decision against the backdrop of the experience of the devastating 2018 floods and the possibility of heavy rainfall under the influence of a low pressure area which has formed in the Bay of Bengal.

Mr. Augustine is scheduled to hold a meeting at Mullaperiyar on Thursday evening.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 5:57:26 AM |

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