Shutters of Kerala's Idukki dam opened after Tamil Nadu's Mullaperiyar move; alert in 2 districts
The Kerala government opened the shutters of the Cheruthoni dam in Idukki early on Tuesday to ease pressure after flow of water from the Mullaperiyar dam. The Tamil Nadu government opened nine gates of the grand old Mullaperiyar dam on Monday night in view of the rising water level in the reservoir.
This is for the first time that shutters of Idukki dam have been opened four times in three months. Many people living in the low-lying areas have been shifted.
High alert has been sounded in Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts, where locals protested against the opening of the dam's shutters.
Kerala water resources minister Roshy Augustine has been camping in the area since the reopening of the gates of Mullaperiyar dam. He said that the state government will move Supreme Court against Tamil Nadu's move.
This was the first time that Tamil Nadu opened the gates of the dam at night and Kerala government had protested against the move. “The decision of the Tamil Nadu was irresponsible,” Augustine had said.
The Tamil Nadu authorities raised the nine shutters to 120cm at 7.45pm after the water level of over a century-old dam reached 141.90 feet on Monday. Three of the gates were closed after 10pm. According to officials in Kerala's Idukki district, more than 100 families had to be shifted from Idukki due to Tamil Nadu's move.
The 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 needs. Kerala has been insisting on building a new dam, citing safety concerns, but Tamil Nadu is against it, saying the present structure is strong.