Level at Idukki dam 2396 ft; water release unlikely

Level at Idukki dam 2396 ft; water release unlikely

A view of the Idukki dam in Kerala. (PTI File Photo)

As inflow into the Idukki reservoir showed a marked reduction, the possibilities of opening sluice gates in the Cheruthoni Dam was remote on Thursday.

An orange alert was announced late on Tuesday amid reports that the rising water level could lead authorities to conduct a trial run before the shutters are raised, even as the district administration continued to take up preparatory measures in downstream areas.

At 9 am on Thursday, the water level stood at 2396.12 ft, as against a full reservoir level of 2403 ft. Power Minister M M Mani is scheduled to visit the dam later in the day, after holding a review meeting in Idukki.

A decision on the trial run is also expected to be taken during the day. The trial run was initially expected to be conducted after the water level crossed 2397 ft.

The State Load Dispatch Centre under the Kerala State Electricity Board said the storage in Idukki reservoir was at 92 % of its capacity on Wednesday. The Idukki, Cheruthoni and Kulamavu dams constitute the Idukki Hydroelectric Project with sluices built into the Cheruthoni dam.

With the inflow reducing, the authorities were learnt to be deciding against opening the sluices. The minister, however, told reporters after a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday that water would be released, in a phased manner, based on the situation.

Water Resources Minister Mathew T Thomas had earlier said there was no cause for panic since the rise in water level was not alarming. After a steady spell of rain in catchment areas of the reservoir, the southwest monsoon has also slowed down in Idukki district over the past couple of days.