Idukki level on steady dip, concerns recede downstream

Idukki level on steady dip, concerns recede downstream

A woman wades through flood water in Eloor in Ernakulam district. DH Photo

Water level in the Idukki reservoir saw a steady dip through Saturday, signalling respite to downstream areas along the river Periyar after a night of caution.

Since all the five shutters of the Cheruthoni dam in Idukki were raised on Friday, the rise in water level in Periyar has only been marginal but some parts of Ernakulam district along the river, including Kalady and Aluva, continued to be waterlogged.

Many remained in homes of relatives and friends in safer locations. More than 10,000 people are housed in relief camps in the district.

With water starting to recede in residential areas, many were also preparing to return home even as fears of another deluge, before the southwest monsoon ends, remained.

Cheruthoni and other parts of Idukki district were battered after water was released from the Cheruthoni dam and hundreds remained in relief camps 

In low-lying areas of Ernakulam district, hundreds of families continued to stay in the camps while tracking news from their homes.

Parts of Kalady, Perumbavoor, North Paravur and Puthenvelikkara regions in the district remained waterlogged.

Residents of some areas also complained of water in wells getting contaminated.

At 6 pm, water level in the Idukki dam stood at 2,400.4 ft, against a full reservoir level of 2403 ft.

The authorities had raised discharge through the five sluices to 750 cusecs (7.5-lakh litres per second) since 5 pm on Thursday, leading to a steady fall in the water level at the dam.

Despite the falling water level, the Kerala State Electricity Board is unlikely to consider lowering the shutters in the next couple of days.

With all shutters in the dam open, discharge into Periyar had raised concerns over possible flooding in parts of Ernakulam, similar to the 2013 floods after water from the Idamalayar dam was discharged.

On Saturday, shutters in the Idamalayar dam were lowered, further easing the flow in Periyar.