The Kerala government said that a maximum of 859 families comprising 3,320 people may have to be moved and that there was no cause for concern.

Water flowing through spillways as Mullaperiyar dam opened in Kerala on October 29
news Mullaperiyar Dam Friday, October 29, 2021 - 07:56

Kerala has shifted 339 families as Tamil Nadu released water from the Mullaperiyar dam on Friday, October 29. The dam, located in the Idukki district of the state, was opened at 7.29 am even as Kerala ministers maintained that preparations have been intact to ensure the safety of the people. Tamil Nadu released 534 cusecs of water by lifting shutters three and four by about 35 cm each. As on Friday morning, the water level in the dam is at 138.70 feet.

People living downstream of Mullaperiyar dam were being evacuated as a measure of abundant caution ahead of Tamil Nadu raising its shutters, Kerala Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine said on Thursday. The minister said, in a release, that Tamil Nadu will open the dam's shutters at 7 am on Friday and water will be released to maintain its level at 138 feet till October 31. The gates were opened around 7.30 am on Friday. 

He said that there was nothing to be concerned about and people need not panic as the storage capacity of the downstream Idukki dam was 70.5 TMC as compared to 12.758 TMC of Mullaperiyar and therefore, the water released from the latter would only raise the former's level by a quarter of a foot. "Therefore, Idukki will be able to contain the water released from the Mullaperiyar,'' the minister said.

Meanwhile, state Revenue Minister K Rajan, while speaking to a news channel, said evacuation of people began from Thursday morning and was being carried out in three phases. A maximum of 859 families comprising 3,320 members may have to be moved, he said and added that the government has made arrangements to accommodate them in camps.

Augustine, in the release, said that as the water level in the 24-km stretch from Mullaperiyar to Idukki is expected to rise by about 60 centimetre, a total of 1,079 people from 350 families who would be affected by the two-foot-high flood have been evacuated. All the preparations made during the opening of the Idukki dam have been taken ahead of the opening of the Mullaperiyar dam, he said. 

He also said that all the departments like Revenue, Health, Fire Force, Forest and Police have formed special teams and completed the security arrangements. Besides that, police would be patrolling the areas where people have been evacuated from their homes. 

With PTI Inputs 

Watch Visuals of the dam opening 

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