Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin Tuesday wrote to his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan reassuring him that the Mullaperiyar dam is safe in all respects and flood regulation of the dam is being carried out as per the Rule Curve and Gate Operation Schedule approved by the Central Water Commission (CWC) in February 2021.
On Friday, Vijayan had sought Stalin’s intervention in regulating water discharge from the dam. The Kerala chief minister noted that water level went beyond the permissible level of 137 ft.
In his letter, Vijayan urged the Tamil Nadu chief minister to give directions to authorities concerned to ensure that the discharge from the dam is more than inflow.
Stalin Tuesday noted that the inflows received in the first week of August were moderate and the rainfall in the catchment area of Mullaperiyar dam was also comparatively lesser than the rainfall in the downstream areas of the dam but even then, the field officers were instructed to divert waters to the Vaigai basin to the maximum extent possible and to scrupulously follow the Rule levels and Gate Operation Schedule, as per the flood regulation protocol.
“When the water level was at 136 feet at 7 p.m. on August 4, our field officers intimated the authorities in Kerala at 7.40 p.m. itself, about the possibility of opening the spillway gates on August 5. This was done in anticipation of future inflows and this information was also sent to the District Collector of Idukki and other officers concerned in Kerala,” Stalin said in response to Vijayan who asked him to notify the neighbouring state at least 24 hours in advance about the opening of the shutters of the dam so that they could take necessary precautionary steps downstream.
The Tamil Nadu chief minister added that the spillway shutters were opened on August 5 at 1.00pm and from then onwards, the spillway discharge was stepped up incrementally, considering the variation in inflows, carefully avoiding sudden releases.
“As on August 8 at 7.00 a.m., the water level of the dam stands at 138.85 feet and the average inflow was 6,942 cusecs, with a spillway discharge of about 5,000 cusecs. This is done in total conformity with the approved Rule Curve,” Stalin noted.
He said the Tamil Nadu government’s dam management team is focused on the precautionary measures to be taken on time for ensuring the safety of the people residing downstream of the Mullaperiyar dam.
Stalin added that the officers in charge of the dam have been adequately instructed to take all necessary measures and maintain continuous communication with the officers at their end.