Theni: The water level in the Mullaiperiyar dam has risen to within inches short of its maximum point of 142ft with the heavy North-East monsoon rainfall spurring on agricultural activities in five districts of Tamil Nadu even as it brings normal life to a standstill in the state.
The water level in the dam is now touching a record 140.50ft and farming activity stands to benefit in the five Tamil Nadu districts of Madurai, Theni, Ramanathapuram, Dindigul and Sivaganga.
Theni district collector Venkatachalam told PTI that water had been released from both the Mullaiperiyar and Vaigai dams and other ones, including the Manjalaru, Sothuparai, and Shanmuganathi dams, taking into consideration the conduct of farm activities, which are in full swing.
He added that quality seeds and fertilisers are available in sufficient quantities for the farmers.
The inflow into Mullaiperiyar dam, the collector said, was 2,083 cusecs and the outflow was 511 cusecs while, in Vaigai dam, where the water level touched 65.72ft (max 71ft), the inflow was 3,641 cusec and the discharge 3060.
Water levels in other dams stood as follows: Manjalaru 56.50ft (max 57ft); Sothuparai 126.28ft (max 126.29ft); Shanmuganathi 52.60ft (max 52.55ft). The entire inflow into the dams -- which stood at 149 and 47 cusecs -- at Manjalaru and Sothuparai was being discharged, he said.
In Shanmuganathi, the inflow was 3 cusecs but the discharge was being maintained at 10 cusecs, added Venkatachalam.
The collector, meanwhile, said that the Idukki district administration in neighbouring Kerala had issued a flood warning for the Venkadu, Sappathu and Vandiperiyar villages.
The Mullaiperiyar dam though was quite safe and strong, Venkatachalam said, adding that 25 government officials have been put on alert to deal with any eventuality arising out of the rains.
Farm operations have started in full swing in the southern districts of TN and a bumper crop is expected by February end, officials said against the backdrop of torrential downpours in the state which have led to the loss of more than 200 lives.
The Madurai district administration had estimated the damage caused by the floods to be at Rs 16.5 crore.
According to an official statement, the district rural development agency had sought Rs
9.89 crore, highways Rs 1.41 crore and city corporation Rs 2.16 crore for flood repair works.
A report from Tirunelveli district said that rain-related incidents have claimed 10 lives there. Officials said that compensation has been provided at the rate of Rs 5,000 for 205 fully-damaged houses while Rs 4,100 was awarded for partially-damaged structures.