Kumali: With water level in the Mullaperiyar dam threatening to cross the permissible limit of 142 feet, three spillway shutters were again opened Tuesday morning.
The water level in the dam in Idukki district touched 141.8 feet Monday afternoon, forcing the Tamil Nadu authorities to open six spillway shutters. However, they were later closed as the water level came down.
Although the rain in the catchment area reduced, the inflow into the dam caused the rise in the water level, prompting to open three spillway gates again.
Meanwhile, Idukki Collector V. Ratheesan said the Theni Collector had agreed to bring down the water level to 140ft.
the Idukki district authorities have made arrangements to relocate people living in downstream areas of the dam to safer places in case the need so arises.
Considering the urgency of the situation, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had shot off a letter to his Tamil Nadu counterpart Jayalalithaa asking her to issue strict directions to her officials to start at once the discharge of water in a "controlled manner" and to increase withdrawal to the Vaigai reservoir in that state.
The Idukki district administration has been asked to take the necessary steps for the rehabilitation of families mainly from Vallakadavu to Vandiperiyar who will be affected immediately due to the discharge of water.
Around 229 families from Vellakadavu, Upputhura and Ayyappankovil have been identified and three shelters have been set up for their rehabilitation. Instructions have been given for setting up more shelters if necessary.
To coordinate the functioning of various departments, deputy collector, chief forest officer, Idukki, along with the tehsildar have been asked to coordinate on the work of various departments, including revenue, Kerala State Electricity Board, fire and rescue and forests.
A control room has already been opened at Vallakadavu towards that end.
The 112-year-old dam, located in Kerala on the Periyar river, is operated and managed by Tamil Nadu.
Supreme Court had on December 3 last year dismissed the Kerala government's plea seeking a review of its May 7, 2014, verdict holding the dam to be safe and allowing Tamil Nadu to raise the water level to 142 feet and ultimately to 152 feet after completion of strengthening measures.