Landslip near Anathodu dam triggers concern

The caved in portion of a service road leading to the Anathodu dam.

The caved in portion of a service road leading to the Anathodu dam.  

Portion of road caves in and cracks develop on road surface around 400 metres from dam

A minor landslip that occurred a week ago on the service road leading to the Anathodu dam of the Sabarigiri hydroelectric project is posing threat to the safety of the Anathodu-Kakki twin reservoirs of the Kerala State Electricity Board.

Around eight feet of road has caved in. Cracks have developed on the tar road surface. The fact that the dam lies hardly 400 metres from the caved-in portion of the service road makes the situation alarming.


The employees of the KSEB had reported the caving in of the service road and the cracks on the service road to the board authorities on December 10. The KSEB cordoned off the damaged portion with a plastic wire. Executive Engineer Prasanna Kumar said the board would strengthen the damaged portion.

He said the Anathodu-Kakki reservoirs had 79.03% storage on Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, experts said that the extent of damage and the epicentre of the landslip could be assessed only after inspecting the foothills. The caved-in portion of the service road has soft soil and is prone to more damaging landslips during rain, posing a real threat even to the dam, they said. Anathodu dam was commissioned on August 26, 1967 by the then Electricity Minister M.N. Govindan Nair.

A major portion of a hill in the immediate downstream of the dam was washed away when water was released from the dam in August 2018, leading to a deluge that wreaked havoc in the districts of Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha.

D. Padmalal, senior scientist and head of Hydrological Process Group of the Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS) in Thiruvananthapuram, said that in recent times, Kerala had been witnessing an increase in larger rainfalls which could also trigger landslips in weak areas. Experts say that KSEB and the Kerala Dam Safety Authority should inspect the affected area near Anathodu dam and take urgent corrective steps.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 10:50:17 AM |

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