Kerala takes measures to tackle dam emergency

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the state government will lower the water level of the Idukki dam which lies downstream of the Mullaperiyar dam as a security measure to block the flood waters rushing out of the dam in case the dam breaches. The government will increase power production from the Idukki hydel project to lower water level of the dam, he said.

The announcement of the chief minister comes in the wake of a query of the Kerala High Court on Wednesday as to what safety measures which the state government is putting in place in case any damage happens to the Mullaperiyar dam. The court also suggested lowering the water level of Idukki dam among other safety measures.

The Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala which supplies water to Tamil Nadu is in the eye of a storm at present following apprehensions in Kerala that the 116-year-old dam has become weak as a result of earthquakes in the area. But Tamil Nadu dismisses Kerala’s fears as baseless and is strongly opposing the demand of Kerala to build a new dam at the site.

Chandy said despite the fact that lowering water level of the Idukki dam, which is the biggest dam in the state, may lead to power crisis in the state in summer, the state government is considering this extreme step to ensure safety of the public. It is expected that the Idukki dam could hold a significant part of the flood waters rushing out of Mullaperiyar in case of any emergency.

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