As the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam inched near the permissible upper limit of 142 ft, Tamil Nadu on Monday night lifted seven of the 13 spillway shutters of the dam, forcing 3,000 cubic feet water to flow towards Kerala’s Idukki reservoir.
The Kerala government has asked, as a precautionary measure, 206 families living downstream of the 120-year-old dam to move to safer locations. Idukki District Collector V Ratheeshan said though Tamil Nadu had been asked to alert in advance about lifting of the spillway shutters, there was no warning when the seven shutters were opened on Monday night.
Kerala had raised alarm over the water level going up after Tamil Nadu had increased the intake of water being drawn from the dam to 1,800 cubic feet per second. However, owing to heavy rain since Sunday in the dam’s catchment area, Tamil Nadu was forced to lift the shutters of the dam by late night.
In Kerala Assembly, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to air the state’s concern regarding the issue.