Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Monday wrote to his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan, reassuring him and the people of the neighbouring State that the Mullaperiyar dam was safe, and flood regulation was being done as per the rule curve and gate operation schedule approved by the Central Water Commission in February 2021.
In his letter, Mr. Stalin said, “Our dam management team is very focused on the precautionary measures to be taken on time for ensuring the safety of the people residing downstream of the Mullaperiyar dam. All the officers in charge of the dam have been adequately instructed to take all necessary measures and maintain continuous communication with the officers at your end.”
Last Friday, Mr. Vijayan had sought the urgent intervention of Mr. Stalin to regulate the discharge from the dam to keep the water level within the safety threshold.
In his reply, Mr. Stalin said the inflows received in the first week of August were moderate, and the rainfall in the catchment area was also comparatively lesser than the downpour downstream of the dam.
“Even then, the field officers were instructed to divert waters to the Vaigai basin to the maximum extent possible, and to scrupulously follow the rule levels and gate operation schedule, as per the flood regulation protocol,” he said.
Mr. Stalin said that when the water level stood at 136 feet at 7 p.m. on August 4, Tamil Nadu’s field officers intimated the authorities in Kerala at 7.40 p.m. about the possibility of opening the spillway gates on August 5. This was done in anticipation of future inflows, and this information was also sent to the District Collector of Idukki and other officers concerned in Kerala.
“The spillway shutters were opened at 1 p.m. on August 5. From then on, the spillway discharge was stepped up incrementally, considering the variation in inflows, carefully avoiding sudden releases. As of 7 a.m. on August 8, the water level of the dam stood at 138.85 feet and the average inflow was 6,942 cusecs, with a spillway discharge of about 5,000 cusecs. This is being done in total conformity with the approved rule curve,” he said.
Mr. Stalin said all the officers in charge of the dam had been instructed to take all necessary measures and maintain continuous communication with the officers in Kerala.