In the wake of heavy rainfall predictions, the shutters of Idukki dam will be opened to release 50 cubic metres per second in the coming days, according to the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) dam safety wing. A high-level meeting called on Friday to decide when the shutters would be opened was attended by Idukki district collector K Jeevan Babu, MP Joyce George, Idukki MLA Roshy Augustine, and KSEB dam safety wing executive engineer V S Balu.
"The government and State Disaster Management Committee (SDMA) directed to open the shutters of the dam. IMD (India Meteorological Department) already predicts heavy rain in the state on Saturday and Sunday and we hope heavy inflow to the dam in the coming days," a KSEB dam safety wing official said.
"As of now, the water level in Idukki dam is at 2387.76 feet on Friday. The full reservoir level of the dam is 2403 feet. But to control the water level in the dam, we decided to open the shutters," the official noted.
Due to unexpected floods in August, the reservoir shutters were opened. Between August 14 and 18, the inflow of the reservoir was over 35 feet, the highest record inflow of the dam since its construction, the official said.
The shutters of Ponmudi, Mattuppetty and Malankara dams were opened on Thursday, and more water will be released from Mattuppetty and Ponmudi dams from Friday onwards. The present 25 cubic metres per second has increased 50 cubic metres per second from Mattuppetty dam and the present 45 cubic metres per second increased to 100 cubic metres per second from Ponmudi dam, the collector said.
The district administration has banned the entry of all tourism centres in Idukki from Friday onwards. Night travel in the hilly areas will not be allowed either.
The thaluk-level control rooms will begin operating from Friday onwards and continue for 24 hours. "Relief camps arranged in landslide and flood-affected areas. The district administration will monitor the rainfall in the landslide hit areas in district and issue warning messages to the natives," the collector said.