Kerala: Idduki Dam to be reopened because of rising water levels; several threatened
Thiruvananthapuram, July 30: In the face of rising water levels, authorities in Kerala were forced to consider reopening the Idduki Dam, one of the highest arch dams in Asia, making nearly thousands of people evacuate from the downstream areas.
As per a report in The New Indian Express, the Idduki Dam water level rose to nearly 2,935 feet on Sunday, July 29, making the officials deciding to reopen the dam which will affect several people between between Thadyambad, Karimban and Injivarakkuth areas near Cheruthoni on the banks of the Cheruthoni river.
The released water from the dam will flow through the same river, which is a tributary of the Periyar river. The Idduki Dam news today has left the local people under a lot of anxiety.
The decision was taken urgently to regulate the rising water levels in the Periyar, caused by record rain in Kerala this season. Idduki experienced 192.3 cm of rainfall this year, which is 49 per cent more than what it had received last year.
According to report in The News Minute, a high-level meeting was conducted with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan where it was decided that the dam will be opened the moment the water levels reached 2,400 feet.
"We decided that we would open the shutters in a trial run even before this. If the water reaches 2400 feet, we would be forced to open the shutters to reduce the levels. So instead of risking this, we will open the shutters in a controlled manner before the level reaches 2,400 so that the pressure is less on us," the report quoted Idukki Collector Jeevan Babu as saying.
The district administration decided to set up temporary shelters but given the high number of displaced people who are also poor, it will be a difficult task to rehabilitate them all in a smooth manner.
Moreover, when the dam as opened last time in 1992, the water flow had caused significant harm and it took years for the affected people to overcome the hardships.
The authorities were keeping a close watch on the Idukki Dam water level today (July 30) while the local people were awaiting consequences of the Idduki Dam shutter opening.