No discharge from Periyar reservoir

S. Sundar

Move to draw additional water backfires

MADURAI: A desperate attempt made by the State's Public Works Department officials to draw additional water from the Periyar dam on Tuesday backfired forcing them to stop discharging of water into Tamil Nadu side within 24 hours.

As the additional water drawn through scour vent blocked the `tail race' of the TNEB power house, the officials had to close the head sluice at Tekkady and no discharge of water to Tamil Nadu was possible since 8 a.m.

With this, the entire inflow of 2,499 cusecs is overflowing into Kerala side, PWD sources said.Following steady inflow of over 6,000 cusecs on Tuesday, the officials had to allow surplus water to overflow into the Kerala side after the Tamil Nadu Government decided against raising the water level to 142 feet.

(A maximum of 2,100 cusecs of water could be drawn from the dam through the tunnel corresponding to the height of water.

While 1,600 cusecs of water go through the four penstalk pipes to the power house; the remaining 500 cusecs could be drawn through the scour vent.)

In an attempt to draw water more than the possible 2,100 cusecs, the PWD officials opened the scour vent located above the power house. Though the attempt did not help withdrawal of additional water from the dam, it only allowed drawing of the water bounded in the four-bay dam (from where the water is drawn to operate the hydro-power turbines), sources said.

The silting up of "tail race" forced the TNEB officials to shut down power generation.

The PWD officials have stopped taking water through the scour vent as it would further damage the road, sources said. The work to clear the silt is expected to take more time and no discharge is likely till Friday, sources said.

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