Idukki (Ker): The shutters of the Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala, operated by Tamil Nadu, were raised on Friday morning as the water level in the reservoir has crossed 138 ft, Kerala government officials said here.
Tamil Nadu government officials raised by 0.30 metres the spillway shutters 3 and 4 of the 126-year old dam at around 7.30 AM, they said.
According to them, 538.16 cusecs of water has been flowing out of these two shutters of the dam since morning.
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The water level at Mullaperiyar dam stands at 138.80 ft at 9 AM, Kerala government officials said here.
Besides officials from the two states, Kerala Revenue Minister K Rajan and Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine were present during the opening of the shutters of the dam.
Talking to reporters, Rajan said there was no need for any panic as the government has taken measures to ensure safety of the people.
He, however, urged the people to maintain vigil.
The government has also warned against the social media scare mongers.
In view of the opening of Mullaperiyar dam and predictions of more rains in the catchment areas, the government has also sounded a red alert in Idukki reservoir.
Augustine said the Idukki reservoir has enough storage capacity to hold the water being released from Mullaperiyar dam.
The minister has said that there was nothing to be concerned about and people need not panic as the storage capacity of Idukki was 70.5 TMC as compared to 12.758 TMC of Mullaperiyar and therefore, the water released from the latter would only raise the former’s level by a quarter of a foot.
People living downstream of Mullaperiyar dam were evacuated as a measure of abundant caution ahead of raising of the shutters.
According to officials a total of 1,079 people from 350 families who would be affected by the two-foot-high flood have been evacuated.
Mullaperiyar dam, built in 1895 on Periyar river in Idukki district of Kerala, is operated by the Tamil Nadu government for its irrigation and power generation needs. Kerala is insisting on building a new dam, citing safety concerns, but Tamil Nadu is against it, saying the present structure was strong.