All shutters of Idamalayar dam up

The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) on Thursday raised all four shutters of the Idamalayar dam as heavy rain lashed its catchment areas throughout the previous night.

With the inflow to the reservoir on the rise, the first two shutters were opened at 5 a.m, the third one an hour later, and the fourth at 7.30 a.m.

All shutters were opened by 80 cm in the beginning and three were later raised by 2 m each and the fourth one by 1 m. Around 500 cubic metres per second (cumecs) of water was initially discharged, which was then gradually increased to 600 and 700 cumecs before settling at 600 cumecs around noon.

The KSEB had declared a ‘Red Alert’ on Wednesday after water touched 168.20 m in the dam.

Even after continuous water release, the level continued to remain at 169.83 m, over the full reservoir limit of 169 m pointing towards increased water flow from its catchment areas. Around 1,81,570 million cubic metres had been released from the dam till 2 p.m.

Though the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority had on Wednesday announced that only one shutter would be operated and 82 cumecs water would be released if the water level rises up to 17 m before 6 a.m. on Thursday, the relentless rain caused a change in plan.

In fact, authorities had to advance the opening of shutters first to 6 a.m. and then to 5 a.m. from the initially fixed time of 8 a.m.

The final revision in timing was announced by the District Collector on his official Facebook page around midnight.

No let-up

With no let-up in rain, the volume of water released also had to be increased. With more than four-fold increase in the water released, areas downstream, especially along the banks of the Periyar in Aluva, faced greater hardships than expected.

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