Minister P Rajeev chairs meeting ahead of Idukki Dam opening


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Kochi: Kerala Industries Minister P Rajeev on Saturday said there was no need for any concern with regard to the opening of the Idukki Dam to discharge the excess water, as the distributaries and streams from Periyar river have been cleaned to ensure the natural flow of water.

Rajeev chaired a meeting of officials here to evaluate the situation as the Idukki district authority has decided to open the Cheruthoni Dam of the Idukki reservoir on Sunday to discharge excess water.

The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), which manages the dam, has issued a red alert as the water-level has increased to 2,383.30 feet. It also said that there was moderate rain in the catchment area.

"Under current circumstances, there is no need to worry. The water that will reach Periyar from Idukki Dam can be easily accommodated as the tributaries have been cleaned under 'Operation Vahini.' Necessary steps have been taken to shift people from the banks of Periyar. There is no need for any concern," Rajeev told the media.

The Minister said relief camps have been opened in all Taluks downstream. Food and drinking water facilities have also been ensured in the camps, he said.

He said people have been shifted from the banks of Chalakudy river as the water-level had gone up.

The meeting, held at the Aluva guest house near here, was attended by MLA Anwar Sadath, Aluva municipality chairman M O John, District Collector Renu Raj and Aluva Rural SP Vivek Kumar, among other senior officials.

The Idukki reservoir consists of two dams- the Arch Dam and the Cheruthoni Dam. The shutters of the latter were opened for the first time in 26 years in 2018 to mitigate the worst flood faced by the State in a century.

Kerala has witnessed heavy rains since July 31. Even though the rains have subsided, the IMD has issued a yellow alert in five districts.

Meanwhile, the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) said 21 people lost their lives since July 31 in various rain-related incidents in Kerala while five people are still missing.

A total of 41 houses have been fully damaged and 353 were partially damaged. There are 372 active relief camps which houses 14,482 inmates.

Landslides occurred at Kundala estate in Idukki, destroying a temple and two shops in the locality. A total of 175 families from the locality has been shifted to relief camps. The road to Vattavada in the district has been isolated after getting damaged in a minor landslide.

PTI

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