No respite for people near Mullaperiyar

Despite State’s plea, dam shutters raised at night

December 04, 2021 08:14 pm | Updated December 05, 2021 07:06 am IST - IDUKKI

Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan inaugurating a 24-hour fast by Dean Kuriakose. MP, at Cheruthoni in Idukki on Saturday demanding a new dam at Mullaperiyar.

Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan inaugurating a 24-hour fast by Dean Kuriakose. MP, at Cheruthoni in Idukki on Saturday demanding a new dam at Mullaperiyar.

Despite the State’s demand otherwise, Tamil Nadu continues to raise the spillway shutters of the Mullaperiyar dam at night to release water to the Periyar.

Tamil Nadu opened nine shutters one by one on Friday night, releasing 7,200 cusecs to the Periyar, and closed all of them but one by Saturday morning. At 5 p.m. on Saturday, another shutter was opened, releasing 841.22 cusecs to the Periyar. There are chances of raising more shutters by night as the water level has reached the maximum level of 142 ft. For the past four days, Tamil Nadu has opened shutters at night.

On Saturday, Tamil Nadu was drawing water from Mullaperiyar at 1,867 cusecs.

A team led by Tamil Nadu Irrigation department Chief Engineer visited the Mullaperiyar dam to explore the possibility of drawing more water and inspected the tunnel gate, spillway shutters, and the mini-dam.

Meanwhile, Dean Kuriakose, Congress MP, started a 24-hour fast at Cheruthoni on Saturday demanding a new dam at Mullaperiyar. Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan inaugurated the fast.

Mr Satheesan said the State government failed in seriously taking up the matter with Tamil Nadu. The permission for felling trees near the mini-dam was for strengthening it and to raise the water level to 152 ft. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who once demanded the decommissioning of the dam had changed his stance now. He should have strongly taken up the protest of the people over opening the dam shutters at night with his Tamil Nadu counterpart, he said.

The water level in the Idukki dam was rising and reached 2,400.84 ft on Saturday. The water level is at the blue alert level. The orange alert level is 2,401 ft and the upper rule level 2,403 ft.

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