T.N. stops tunnel discharge from Mullaperiyar

Tamil Nadu stopped the tunnel discharge from the Mullaperiyar dam on Sunday resulting in a rise in the water level.

Water release to the Periyar was also reduced to140 cusecs from Saturday. Now only one spillway shutter of the dam is remaining open at 10 cm.

Tamil Nadu informed Kerala that it stopped the tunnel discharge at 1 p.m. The water level reached 141.70 ft at 3 p.m. from the level of 141.60 ft at the time of stopping the tunnel discharge.

Maximum level likely

If the situation continues, the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam could reach the maximum level of 142 ft on Monday morning, leading to the opening of the spillway shutters.

When contacted, a Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) official said that the reason for closing the tunnel discharge was not informed. It might be due to the heavy rainfall in Tamil Nadu and filling up the Vaigai dam to the maximum level from the Mullaperiyar dam. Also Tamil Nadu wanted to bring the water level to the upper rule level for claiming that the dam was safe to contain more water, he said.

Chances for release

The maximum storage level fixed by the Supreme Court was 142 ft. After bringing water to the level, Tamil Nadu might release water at the level of the inflow to the dam to the Periyar or might draw it through the tunnel. There was also the chance of opening the tunnel in addition to releasing water to the Periyar, the official said.

Level in Idukki dips

Meanwhile, water level in the Idukki dam declined from 2,400.80 ft at 6 a.m. on Sunday to 2,400.68 ft at 3 p.m. An official at the Dam Monitoring and Research Station said power generation at the Moolamattom power house was at a maximum, leading to the decline in water level. He said the rainfall on the catchment area was lesser on the day compared to Saturday. The inflow through the Periyar also declined, he said, adding that even if water from the Mullaperiyar was released, the immediate opening of the shutters of the Cheruthoni dam of Idukki reservoir would not be necessary.

“It would make only a minor impact on Idukki reservoir,” he said. Unless there was heavy rainfall, the opening of the Cheruthoni dam shutters was unlikely.

It may take 5 to 6 hours for the water from the Mullaperiyar dam to reach the Idukki reservoir, which has a full storage level of 2,403 ft.

The official said that if 1,500 cusecs of water was released from the Mullaperiyar dam, only one shutter of the Cheruthoni dam needed to be raised to 40 cm (releasing around 43 cumecs of water). The Cheruthoni dam shutter is usually raised to a minimum of 40 cm. With normal rainfall, the water level was unlikely to reach the upper rule level of 2,403 ft, he said.

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Printable version | May 24, 2022 11:48:40 pm |