Chennai: Coastal and north interior Tamil Nadu is having incessant rainfall on Wednesday, under the influence of severe Nivar cyclone advancing towards the region.
As a result the storage level touched 3,000 million cubic feet in the Chembarambakkam reservoir as against it full capacity of 3,645 Mcft, authorities on Wednesday began releasing about 1,000 cusecs into the Adyar river as a precautionary measure.
In its latest bulletin, the IMD said Nivar would cross over between Karaikal and Mamallapuram "during the midnight of November 25 and early hours of 26 November."
The storm, 250 km off Chennai and 190 km and 180 km from Puducherry and Cuddalore respectively is very likely to move northwestwards and cross coasts as a "very severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph."
As the surplus waters gushed forth with the opening of shutters after about five years, Chief Minister K Palaniswami inspected the dam premises and reviewed the precautionary measures and the outflow.
Palaniswami said he advised the officials to "carry out their work cautiously and without causing any inconvenience to the people." On the dam's storage position, the Chief Minister told reporters that it has reached 21.5 feet.
"The reservoir is receiving about 4,000 cusecs and from noon 1,000 cusecs is being released," he said adding surplus water of about 2,000 feet from Aadhanur lake in the suburbs was also being let into the Adyar River.
"The Adyar River could carry up to 60,000 cusecs and people need not have any apprehensions. All precautions have been taken," he said and pointed out that approximately, only 6,000 cusecs now flowed in the river.
A flood control official of the Public Works Department said the storage level was close to 22 feet as against the full height of 24 feet. As per norms inflows received from now onwards should be released 'as it is' and it would be done in a phased manner, the official said.
The storage has increased in view of inflows from the Krishna river coupled with the monsoon rains and the current inflow stood at 4,027 cusecs (cubic feet per second), he said in a communique.
An alert, already sent by the PWD to local authorities said, "the outflow will be increased step by step based on the inflows."
The Chembarambakkam reservoir, which is among the very four important drinking water sources to Chennai is spread across 25.51 square kilometers and it is located in Kancheepuram district's Kundrathur taluk. Poondi, Cholavaram and Red Hills are the other reservoirs.
The Adyar river empties into the sea, traversing city localities like Kotturpuram and suburban neighbourhoods including Sirugalathur and Kundrathur.
People, who gathered eagerly to witness the water release along the river bank were advised by the authorities to move away considering their safety while intermittent rains lashed the city and suburbs.
The Greater Chennai Corporation said it has cleaned up the Adyar creek besides other canals and lakes like Mambalam and Velachery respectively.
The GCC said it has already advised people living close to the river like those in Jafferkhanpet to move to its shelters adding "169 shelters are open and ready."
For assistance, people may contact them at 044-25384530 and 044-25384540, the GCC said.
Palaniswami said all precautionary measures have been taken in view of the cyclone and so far 400 people have been accommodated here in relief shelters here.
Waterlogging has been reported from 30 low lying areas and GCC has deployed heavy duty motor pumps to drain the rain water, he said.
Also, electricity poles that were affected in city localities have been set right immediately by electricity corporation personnel, he said and appreciated government employees for their work.
City police said 12 teams, led by sub-inspectors of Armed Reserve, with necessary equipment and boats have been deployed for relief work. Police appealed to the people to seek their assistance, if needed by contacting the temporary control room at 9498181239.
As many as 38 uprooted trees were removed by them with the assistance of GCC and disaster relief workers, they said.