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Tamil Nadu Opens Shutters of Mullaperiyar Dam Due to Rising Water Level

The district administration said nine shutters of the dam, which were initially opened at 7.45 pm by 60 centimeters each, were raised by 120 cm (1.20m) to release 12654.09 cusecs of water. (Image: News18)

The district administration said nine shutters of the dam, which were initially opened at 7.45 pm by 60 centimeters each, were raised by 120 cm (1.20m) to release 12654.09 cusecs of water. (Image: News18)

The authorities also expect further rise in water level in Idukki reservoir due to the excess flow of water to it from the Mullaperiyar dam.

Tamil Nadu opened nine shutters of the Mullaperiyar dam on Monday night in view of the rising water level in the reservoir and shut down three of them after 10 PM, the Idukki District administration said here. In a statement, the district administration said nine shutters of the dam, which were initially opened at 7.45 pm by 60 centimeters each, were raised by 120 cm (1.20m) to release 12654.09 cusecs of water.

Thereafter, three of the shutters were shut down at 10.00 PM and six were kept open to release 8380.50 cusecs of water, it said. The Tamil Nadu authorities had raised the shutters to 120 cm after the water level of the over a century-old dam reached 141.90 feet at 8.30 pm.

Kerala Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine, who was present at Idukki, told reporters that rescue forces have already been deployed based on information received from the Tamil Nadu government. He said that this issue of water being released at night would be raised before the Supreme Court.

The minister also said that he will be present at Idukki to help with the rescue efforts and to persuade people to evacuate to camps wherever necessary. Meanwhile, the Idukki district administration sounded an orange alert as the water level in the reservoir there touched 2401.12 feet.

The authorities also expect further rise in water level in Idukki reservoir due to the excess flow of water to it from the Mullaperiyar dam. They said that if the water in the reservoir rises excessively, one shutter of Cheruthoni dam will be raised at 6.00 AM on Tuesday from 40 cm to 150 cm.

The District Collector said that people in the area below the Cheruthoni Dam and on both sides of the Periyar should be extremely careful.

The Mullaperiyar dam, built in 1895 on the Periyar river in Idukki district of Kerala, is operated by the Tamil Nadu government for its irrigation and power needs. Kerala has been insisting on building a new dam, citing safety concerns, but Tamil Nadu is against it, saying the present structure is strong.

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first published:December 06, 2021, 23:53 IST