Idukki dam opened, more water released, vigil on river banks

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Representational image I Idukki dam | Photo: PR Sreejith

Idukki: In the wake of the ongoing flood crisis in the state, the shutters of the Idukki dam was opened at 11:00 am on Tuesday. This is the fifth time the shutters are opened in the history of the dam. The third shutter of the Cheruthoni dam, which is part of the Idukki hydropower project and is in the middle position, was opened first by 35 centimetres.

The second shutter was opened after one hour. The fourth shutter was opened 30 minutes after opening the second shutter. The district authority has alerted people residing near Periyar river to stay alert. One lakh litres of water is being released from the dam per second.

The first siren was sounded at 10.50 am followed by the second siren at 10.51 am. Soon after the third siren, the third shutter was opened. The water released through the third shutter reached Cheruthoni river within 23 minutes. Following the three sirens from 11.50 am, the second shutter was opened at 11.59 am. The fourth shutter was opened at 12.30 pm.

“Dam was opened as per the rule curve. If the rain subsides, the quantity of water released from the dam will be decreased. All generators at Moolamattom power station will be operational from tomorrow,” said minister for electricity K Krishnankutty.

Only Cheruthoni dam under Idukki hydroelectric project has shutters to release water. Neither Idukki arch dam nor Kulamavu dam has shutters.

An emergency meeting of ministers was held prior to the opening of the dam and was attended by Ministers K Krishnnankutty and Roshy Augustine.

On Tuesday morning, The water level is recorded at 2398.04 ft in Idukki dam. A red alert was been sounded in Idukki dam on Monday. A warning has been issued to residents of Idukki, Vathikudy, Kanjikuzhi and Kamakshi panchayats.

A decision has been taken to control the water level of the dam at 2,395-2,396 feet in the wake of a warning from the Central Meteorological Department of heavy rains in the coming days. The decision was also based on past experience and was meant to allay people's concerns, informed the government.

Meanwhile, the sluice gates of Idamalayar and Pampa reservoirs were opened early on Tuesday in the wake of the increase in the water level and more rains forecast in the coming days in Kerala. The development comes a day after the state government opened the shutters of Kakki and Sholayar dams to release surplus water.

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