Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to his counterpart in Tamil Nadu, M.K. Stalin, stressing the “urgent need for the gradual release of water from the Mullaperiyar Dam through the tunnel to Tamil Nadu”.
Mr. Vijayan said 2,109 cusecs of water were accumulating in the Mullaperiyar reservoir even after diversion from the Tamil Nadu side. Given the current inflow, the water level in the reservoir would reach the safety threshold of 142 feet if the rain intensified, he added.
He requested Mr. Stalin to “give immediate directions to the authorities to ensure that the maximum quantity of water is drawn from Mullaperiyar Dam through the tunnel to Vaiga Dam and gradually release the water downstream”.
He also requested Mr. Stalin to direct the Tamil Nadu authorities to intimate the Kerala government at least 24 hours in advance about the opening of shutters to “help us take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the people living downstream of the dam”.
He requested Mr. Stalin’s “kind and positive” response to ensure the “safety of the lives of our people”.
The Chief Minister said rainfall was heavy in the catchment area of the Mullaperiyar Dam. The water level had touched 133.45 feet on October 18. Soon, the water level reached the red alert level in Cheruthoni, compelling the government to open three dam shutters. It also released water from Edamalayar dam.
Mr. Vijayan told Mr. Stalin that heavy flooding had caused loss of life and severe damage in Kerala from October 16. Severe flooding and landslips occurred in Kottayam and Idukki districts, resulting in many deaths and reminded Mr. Stalin about the historically warm relations between the people of both States.