Thiruvananthapuram: After Tamil Nadu opened the shutters of Mullaperiyar dam again without prior information, that too at night time, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday forwaded a letter to Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin to direct him that such steps should be during day time and after warning the people living downstream.
On Tuesday, Tamil Nadu had at around 2.30 AM said that it would be opening two shutters of the dam due to heavy rains in its catchment area and subsequently, between 5.00 AM to 9.00 AM it raised more shutters as water in the reservoir reached 142 feet. This led to water entering homes of people living in downstream areas. Thereafter, state Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine had told the media that the Tamil Nadu government would be asked to avoid releasing water from Mullaperiyar dam at night as was done in the small hours of Tuesday.
Even after the request from Kerala Govt was forwaded, on Thursday, Tamil Nadu again opened eight shutters of the dam during wee hours, at around 3.00 AM, and without sufficient warning. The Kerala CM pointed out in his letter that initially 6,413 cusecs of water was released, which was later increased to 8,017 cusecs at 4.00 AM by raising all 10 shutters. ‘I seek your kind intervention in the matter so that anxiety and apprehensions of the people living in the downstream areas are put to rest. Directions need to be given that opening of shutters should be done only after sufficient warnings and during day time’, the letter reinstated.
‘The discharge of water in the night and early morning without prior warning creates avoidable panic and risk,’ the letter further noted. It also said that officials at the dam site need to closely monitor the situation in the reservoir and release of water has to be planned and gradual.