Tamil Nadu closes all dam shutters but one at Mullaperiyar

MPs from Kerala stage a protest on the Mullaperiyar dam issue at Parliament House in New Delhi on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Manvender Vashist

Tamil Nadu closed all spillway shutters of the Mullaperiyar dam except one with the water level dipping to 141.75 ft. at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

Average inflow of water stood at 4,257 cusecs, while the tunnel discharge was 1,867 cusecs. Earlier, nine shutters were raised at 9 a.m., discharging 7,105.59 cusecs of water to the Periyar.

Residents along the downstream of the dam feel that though Tuesday night did not witness a heavy release of water to the Periyar, the possibility of shutters being opened again remained.

According to a Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) official, Tamil Nadu had kept open only one shutter by 10 cm during daytime and maintained the water level close to the maximum level of 142 ft. This was done to “overrule” the formalities of opening the shutters. As per the norms, Tamil Nadu is required to give advance warning and notice to Kerala before opening the shutters.

“When one shutter is kept open for just 10 cm, they can claim that the shutters were not closed so as to avoid giving an advance warning,” said the KSEB official, adding that the sudden opening of dam shutters and release of a high volume of water could have been avoided if the water level was kept at a safe level of at least one foot below the maximum level.

Idukki reservoir

Meanwhile, the shutter number 3 of the Idukki reservoir remained open by 40 cm at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. A dam safety official said that a decision on closing the shutter would be taken after analysing the possibility of heavy rainfall. He said the shutter could be closed during night-time though there was a norm to avoid opening of shutters at night.

The water level in the Idukki dam fell to 2,401.38 ft. by 4 p.m. Power generation at the Moolamattom powerhouse continued to be above normal.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 4:18:48 PM |

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