With just days left for the start of the 2021 southwest monsoon season, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has put in place measures to keep the water storage in major reservoirs at safe levels, officials of the State-run power utility said.
As of May 20, the combined storage in the reservoirs managed by the KSEB stood at 35%, adequate to generate 1,436.23 million units (MU) of electricity. It stood at 1,298.16 MU on the same day last year, 855.35 MU in 2019 and 1,067 MU in 2018. Among the bigger reservoirs, the Idukki reservoir has only 35% storage at present, Idamalayar 29% and Sholayar, 30%.
Dam management protocols
All the measures prescribed by dam management protocols for monitoring the storage levels are in place, KSEB chairman and managing director N. S. Pillai said. The State government also has been apprised of the steps taken in this regard, he said.
The big reservoirs under the KSEB — Idukki, Kakki-Anathode, Idamalayar and Banasurasagar — are operated in strict compliance with rule curves approved by the Central Water Commission (CWC). Under this, the storage for every 10 days, starting June 1 has been fixed, based on a dynamic flood cushion.
Emergency Action Plans (EAP) also are in place for all the dams. Additionally, the KSEB has surveillance mechanisms in place at the dam sites for daily monitoring of storage levels. Dam safety engineers have been posted at the sites.
Dam operations in Kerala had come under intense scrutiny following the devastating floods of 2018 and 2019.
This year, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast that the southwest monsoon is likely to set in over Kerala on May 31, with a model error of plus or minus four days. The State is also likely to receive widespread rainfall in the remaining days of May, according to the IMD.