Kerala Government objects to Tamil Nadu discharging water from Mullaperiyar dam during late hours

Caught off-guard after Tamil Nadu opened nine shutters of the Mullaperiyar dam, Kerala has faulted its neighbour for discharging water into the Periyar at odd hours on Tuesday.

Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine has said releasing large quantities of surplus water during the late hours could hit rescue and rehabilitation efforts.

With 5,650 cusecs of water drained from Mullaperiyar, the flood level recorded at Vandiperiyar flood monitoring station rose to 794.05 m, only 15 cm less than the ‘warning level’. Though there was no cause for concern presently, the Government will formally convey its protest in this regard to the Central Water Commission, the chairman of the Supervisory Committee as well as the Tamil Nadu Government to avoid such a scenario in future.

Insisting that the State accorded utmost priority to maintaining a cordial relationship with Tamil Nadu, Mr. Augustine said the concerns raised by the Government were valid.

“We had requested the Tamil Nadu Government to plan such operations such as the release of water from the reservoir well in advance at daytime whenever the water level neared 142 ft. The various complexities associated with undertaking disaster mitigation efforts during the late hours cannot be ignored,” he said.

Besides, the Tamil Nadu Government must also consider maintaining a considerable discharge through the tunnels all throughout the day in anticipation of rainfall during daytime. The suspension of tunnel discharge on Sunday had contributed to the rise in water level in the Mullaperiyar dam.

State’s policy

Reiterating the State’s policy of ‘water for Tamil Nadu and safety for Kerala’, the Minister said the Government would continue its efforts to construct a new dam in place of the existing one at Mullaperiyar.

Elaborating on the extent of disaster preparedness, Mr. Augustine said a control room has been operationalised at Peermade. The villages of Peermade, Kumily, Manjumala and Periyar have been put on alert.

In addition to a police team led by the Peermade Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP), three units of the Kerala Fire and Rescue Services and one of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been kept on high alert, he added.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2022 3:42:05 PM |

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