Pinarayi said that the discharge of water in the night and early morning without prior warning creates panic and risk in downstream areas in Kerala.

A file photo of the Mullaperiyar damFile photo: Wikimedia Commons/Bipin K Das
news Controversy Friday, December 03, 2021 - 08:38

With Tamil Nadu again opening shutters of Mullaperiyar dam allegedly without prior information and that too at night, which led to water reportedly entering homes of people living in downstream areas, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday, December 2, shot off a letter to his counterpart MK Stalin to direct that such steps are taken during day time and after sufficient warning. On Tuesday, Tamil Nadu had at around 2.30 am said that it would be opening two shutters of the dam due to heavy rains in its catchment area and subsequently, between 5 am to 9 am, raised more shutters as water in the reservoir reached 142 feet.

Thereafter, Kerala Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine had told the media that the Tamil Nadu government would be asked to avoid releasing water from Mullaperiyar dam at night as was done in the small hours of Tuesday. On Thursday, the Kerala government said that Tamil Nadu opened eight shutters of the dam, again during wee hours of the day at around 3 am, and without sufficient warning released 6,413 cusecs of water which was later increased to 8,017 cusecs at 4 am by raising all 10 shutters, the CM said in his letter.

"I seek your kind intervention in the matter so that anxiety and apprehensions of the people living in the downstream areas are put to rest. Directions need to be given that opening of shutters should be done only after sufficient warnings and during day time," the letter to Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin said.

It also said that officials at the dam site need to closely monitor the situation in the reservoir and release of water has to be planned and gradual. "The discharge of water in the night and early morning without prior warning creates avoidable panic and risk," the letter said.

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