Water should be released from Idukki dam, says Kerala government

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government today said water from the Idukki dam, where the level has nearly touched the maximum, has to be released but in phases as the state continued to be on alert following copious rains in the past few days.

A cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took stock of the situation after the water level touched 2395.90 feet. The full level of the dam is 2,403 feet. The water level is related to the mean sea level and catchment area.

Later talking to reporters, Power Minister M M Mani said the state government and the Kerala State Electricity Board are of the view that there was a need to open the shutters of the dam. But it would be done only in phases, he said.

Mani and Water Resources Minister Mathew P Thomas had visited the dam site to take stock of the situation and had informed those at the meeting about the prevailing conditions there. With the state receiving heavy rains in the past two days, the government machinery is on alert.

The water level at the dam stood at 2395.90 feet at 1300 hrs today against the full reservoir level of 2403 feet. “We are closely watching the accumulation of water in the reservoir based on previous days’ rainfall, inflow and expected inflow in the coming days,” a KSEB source said.

On July 31 night, an ‘orange alert’ was issued after the water level in the dam touched 2395.58 feet. The ‘orange alert’ was sounded prior to the ‘red alert’ that will be issued if the level reaches 2,399 feet. Most dams in the state are full and some have been opened to let out excess water.

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