Kerala is likely to witness severe rainfall in the next five days. A yellow alert has been issued by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) for all 14 districts of Kerala until November 5. The IMD has warned fishermen not to venture out into the sea from the Lakshadweep coast until November 3 and from the Kerala coast till November 4. As per the alert, all districts of Kerala could witness heavy rainfall, as well as thunder and lightning. On November 1, Monday, the IMD warned of moderate rainfall in southern districts and light rainfall in northern districts.
A red alert was issued for Ponmudi and Peringalkuthu dams, while there was an orange alert for the Idukki, Kakki, Sholayar, Mattupetti and Anayirangal reservoirs. Spillway shutters of Ponmudi, Peringalkuthu, Kakki and Mattupetti are still open as the water level in the dams have risen.
As water level in Mullaperiyar dam is causing concern, officials again released 7000 cubic feet of water. Speaking to the media, Kerala Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine said that 2,974 cubic feet of water is currently flowing through the spillway of the Mullaperiyar dam and 2,360 cubic feet of water is being carried to Tamil Nadu and as a result, the water level has dropped to 138.85 feet.
Agriculture Minister P Prasad, who also visited the dam site, told reporters that according to the Central Water Commission-approved Rule Curve, the water level has to be maintained at 138 feet by the Tamil Nadu government, but it has not been done. This would be brought to the attention of the Supreme Court on the next date of hearing of the Mullaperiyar issue on November 11, both ministers said.
They also said that while the government was not opposed to providing water to Tamil Nadu for its agricultural needs, safety interests of Kerala too, have to be kept in mind.
Shutters of the dam in Kerala were raised further by Tamil Nadu on Saturday morning after the water level in the reservoir rose to 138.90 feet. The three spillway shutters were raised to a height of 70 cm each and 1,675 cusecs of water was released to the downstream. Shutters of the dam were raised on Friday as the water level in the reservoir crossed 138 feet. Tamil Nadu government officials had raised the spillway shutters 3 and 4 of the 126-year old dam by 0.3 metres around 7.30 am on Friday. Later at 9 pm on the same day, one more shutter of the dam was raised as the water level in the dam continued to rise.
Mullaperiyar dam, built in 1895 on the Periyar river in Idukki district of Kerala, is operated by the Tamil Nadu government for its irrigation and power generation needs.
With inputs from PTI