Water level in Mullaperiyar dam reaches 131.4 feet raising concerns
Mankulam (Idukki): Raising concerns, the water level in Mullaperiyar dam jumped from 123.2 feet marked on Thursday morning to 130.5 feet on Friday morning. Rainfall in the dam area gauged 198.4 millimetres on Thursday. There was 152.2 millimetre rainfall in Thekkady. About 17,000 cubic feet water per second flowed to the dam by Friday morning. This is considered as a rare incident.
Though the water flow reduced by afternoon, the rain did not recede. Tamil Nadu is taking 1650 cubic feet water per second. According to the Supreme Court order, Tamil Nadu can wait till the water level reach 142 feet. But if the dam shutters are opened all of a sudden when water level is at 142 feet, it can lead to huge damages on the banks of Periyar.
When the dam was opened in a similar way in 2018, it ended up in floods in Periyar river. As the huge amount of water from Mullaperiyar dam flowed quickly to Idukki dam, more water had to be released from Idukki dam also and this resulted in the mishaps.
Kerala demands that the water should be released from the dam to Periyar river as the water level reaches 136 feet. Only then, disasters can be averted. The executive engineer who is in charge of the dam said that a letter in this regard will be given to the Tamil Nadu authorities. Idukki collector will hand over the letter to Theni collector.
When water level increases, action will be take to evacuate people from the banks of Periyar. Though Mullaperiyar is under the control of the Central Water Commission, it has no shutter operation guidelines. This has to be prepared by Tamil Nadu. So, there is no criteria for opening the dam according to the water level. Despite Kerala's requests, Tamil Nadu opens the dam as per their choice.