Tamil Nadu alerts Kerala after Mullaperiyar dam level touches 136 feet
Tamil Nadu alerted Kerala after the water level at Mullaperiyar touched 136 feet, reported Tamil daily Dinakaran on Monday. Tamil Nadu public works department (PWD) officials sent out the first warning message to the Idukki district administration.
Situated at the confluence of Mullayar and Periyar rivers in Kerala, the gravity dam commissioned during the British Raj in 1895 is the lifeline of five southern districts of Tamil Nadu -- namely Madurai, Theni, Dindigul, Sivaganga, and Ramanathapuram. The water is diverted from the Periyar river into the Vaigai dam for the drinking and irrigation needs of Tamil Nadu. Though the dam is situated in Kerala, Tamil Nadu’s PWD still maintains the dam.
Mullaperiyar dam’s catchment areas have been receiving substantial rainfall after the southwest monsoon turned intense in Kerala, reported Tamil newspaper Dinamalar. On Sunday, the Periyar dam area received 10.4mm rainfall, while Thekkady received 10mm rainfall and the water level touched 136 feet of the dam’s total capacity of 152 feet. The current storage level of the dam is 5,929 ft. The dam is receiving an inflow of 4,875 cusecs of water. As much as 900 cusecs of water are discharged from the dam for irrigation purposes of Tamil Nadu.
With a steady increase in the dam level, the first flood warning has been issued to Vallakadavu and Vandiperiyar areas on the riverbank in Kerala. Similarly, a flood warning has been issued to people living along the riverside in Tamil Nadu starting from the Lower Camp area. After the water level touched 136 feet, the PWD officials manning the dam sent out the communication to 23 officials both in Tamil Nadu and Kerala including Theni and Idukki district collectors.
The second flood warning will be issued once the dam level touches 138 feet and the third will be issued once it touches 141 feet. The final flood warning will be issued once the dam level touches 142 feet, according to the officials.