Kerala

Water inflow slows down in Idukki dam

The water inflow into the Idukki dam which is nearing the full reservoir level has slightly declined with an average increase of 0.02 ft an hour on Tuesday.

The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), which opened a control room on the dam top. was taking the water estimate every hour after it announced an orange alert on Monday night.

However, in the five grama panchayats downstream of the dam, the precautionary measures and rehabilitation works continued with representatives of grama panchayats and block panchayats visiting the areas to oversee the eviction process in case the dam was opened.

The buildings to be functioned as relief camps were set ready. At least a 12-hour notice would be given to the people to be shifted to the relief camps and there would be no opening of shutters during the night time.

Water Resources Minister Mathew T. Thomas who visited the dam categorically denied the chances of a trial run by opening the dam shutters. He said there was only an increase of 0.44 ft during the past 17 hours. He said the trial run would be considered only when there was a rise of water level to be considered for that. At present no such situation prevailed, he said.

There was an average rise of over one foot a day a few days back and as the river area widened with the increase in water level, the phase of increase subsided. It was also partially due to the fall in rainfall and increase in power generation to the maximum level.

This was for the first time in its history that the dam water reached the highest level in July. An official of the KSEB said the maximum water level of a season was usually recorded on September/October months. However, the water level at 6 pm on Tuesday was 2,395.58 ft which was 0.02 ft higher than an hour before.

A 165-member team of Fire and Rescue Services personnel will be deployed at eight sectors in the district from Wednesday. They would have modern equipment and vehicles to help in rehabilitation works. They would start the works with the red alert sounded by the district administration.

There was a lull in rainfall as recorded on Tuesday. The average rainfall in the district was 38.12 mm. The Peerumade taluk which is the upstream area of Idukki dam recorded a rainfall of 19 mm, while the Thodupuzha taluk in the low range recorded the highest rainfall of 113 mm. The water level in the Mullaperiyar dam was stable at 135.6 ft on Tuesday.

Though there was apprehension that the water would be released even if it reached the 2,400 ft with an unprecedented rise in the level in a short period, the situation had eased now. In September 2013, a situation of opening the dam was avoided even if it reached 2,401 ft. The power generation was then increased to tide over the situation. Though the preparations for water release were moving on a war footing, a situation of opening the dam may be avoided by working the power generators to the full swing.


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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 4:53:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/water-inflow-slows-down-in-idukki-dam/article24565074.ece

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