Taking into account the heavy rainfall prediction for the state of Kerala, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) on Saturday morning opened one of the shutters of the Cheruthoni dam in Idukki.
Talking to TNM, Aloshy Paul, Assistant Executive Engineer of the Dam Safety Authority said that the shutter was opened around 11 am on Saturday. “One shutter of the dam has been opened by a height of around 70 cms and 50 cumecs (cubic metre per second) of water is being released from the dam at the moment,” said Aloshy Paul.
The Idukki district authorities on Friday had warned the people living near the dam to take necessary precautions and to be aware of what is happening around them.
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) has predicted 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.
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 taluk-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 district collector said.
Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday said that following the prediction of heavy rains, 5 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had arrived in Kerala and have been stationed in the five districts of Idukki, Pathanamthitta, Wayanad,Kozhikode and Palakkad.