Rains
Residents have accused KSEB of not issuing proper warnings before raising all the shutters of the dam, which resulted in large-scale flooding.

The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) in Wayanad district of Kerala has come under severe criticism for not following the standard operating procedures (SOP) before raising all the four shutters of the Banasura Sagar dam on Wednesday, which resulted in worsening of the flood situation in the district.

According to a report by the Times of India (ToI), residents and people’s representatives of the Padinjathapura panchayat of Wayanad have accused the KSEB officials of not issuing proper warnings to the people before raising all the shutters of the dam, which resulted in large-scale flooding in the panchayats of Padinjathapura, Panamaram and others.

The KSEB on Wednesday had raised all the four shutters of India’s largest earthen dam to 250 cms in stages, which resulted in an outflow of 212.5 cumecs of water.

As per reports, due to inflow of water into the reservoir which was at the Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of 775.6 meters above sea level (msl), the KSEB further raised its shutters to 290 cmson Thursday which led to the release of 246.5 cumecs to ensure that the dam does not overflow.

Padinjathaoura panchayat president Sajesh PG told ToI, “There was no proper warning that massive amounts of water would be released and people woke upon Wednesday to see their houses flooded with water. It is a serious lapse on KSEB’s part.”

In a report by News18, KSEB officials are reported to have said that they had issued all prior warnings before opening the four shutters of the dam.

It has also been reported that the Wayanad District Collector will look into this issue and will seek an explanation from KSEB.

P Manoharan, assistant executive engineer at the dam reportedly said, “The quantum of water that flowed into the dam on a single day (on Wed) was 19.67 million cubic metre which was nearly 10% per cent of the total reservoir capacity. We had to raise the shutters as it is an earthen dam. Allowing an overflow would have led to disastrous consequences.”

Following the opening of the dam shutters, hundreds of houses were reportedly damaged and acres of agricultural lands were destroyed.