In 2018, intense rainfall had filled up the dams and a fresh spell of torrential rainfall led to the simultaneous opening of all major dams, leading to flooding of coastal areas.
Akin to the floods in 2018, three days of heavy rainfall have led to steady inflow and brimming water levels in Kerala’s dams. The Kakki dam, part of Sabarigiri project, will open its shutters at 11 am on Monday, October 18, 2021, and the water level in Pampa river is expected to rise. With Ayyappa devotees waiting to proceed to Sabarimala hill shrine on Tuesday, the decision to release water has caused concern.
Shutters of Sholayar dam were opened at 10 am on Monday. People living on the banks of the Chalakudy river have been asked to shift.
At Idukki reservoir, the powerhouse of Kerala, the district administration issued an orange alert at 7 am today. The water level stood at 2396.90 feet at 7 am. The upper rule curve level, the benchmark set by Central Water Commission for opening shutters is 2398.86 feet. The dam is receiving an inflow of 34.711 MCM per day and the discharge for power generation is 9.07 MCM per day. Considering the inflow, the dam may open the flood gates by Wednesday.
At Idamalayar, the second-largest reservoir, a blue alert was issued at 7 am today as the water level touched 165.30 m. The full reservoir level is 169 m and the upper rule curve level is 166.80 m. An orange alert will be issued as the water level reaches 165.8 m and a red alert will follow at 166.3 m. The dam receives an inflow of 0.8 MCM per hour and the water drawn for power generation is 0.023 MCM per hour.
Though the rain has subsided the dams are expected to receive a steady inflow for the next one week. Two shutters of Kakki – Anathodu reservoir will be opened at 11 am today. The full reservoir level is 981.46 m and the water level has reached 979.87 m. The water level in Pampa river is expected to rise by 10 to 15 cm. The Pampa river is already flowing above flood level.
In 2018, intense rainfall from August 1 had filled up the dams and a fresh spell of torrential rainfall led to the simultaneous opening of all major dams on August 15. Water gushing down from Idukki and Idamalayar dams led to the flooding of coastal areas from Aluva. As the sea was rough the water did not drain which aggravated the situation. It was the release of water from Kakki – Anathodu reservoir that inundated Chengannur and Aranmula areas. The water had risen up to the height of a two-storeyed building in these areas leaving a trail of death and destruction.
However, the authorities can breathe easy as the rain has stopped and the sea is relatively calm. The plan is to release water from dams in a phased manner and to monitor the water level in downstream areas. The district administration in Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta and Idukki districts have made preparations to monitor water level and to shift people from low lying areas after reviewing the situation.