From a trial run for four hours yesterday, all five shutters of Idukki dam had to be opened in less than 24 hours. A case of poor planning.
Kochi: The Kerala Government seems to have committed a blunder in assessing the situation at the Idukki dam. While the government maintained yesterday that only one shutter would be opened just as a trial run for just four hours, it was forced to open five shutters today by 1 pm in less than 24 hours.
The government dilly-dallied for a week in opening the shutters despite warning of heavy rains by the IMD. There were persistent demands last week from people along the banks to open the shutters in phases to avoid flooding. But the government maintained that it was not necessary. But by noon today, the water level touched an alarming 2401.50 feet forcing the opening of all the five shutters. The full reservoir level is 2403 feet.
The government is now staring at a disaster of its making as the outflow will cause massive flooding along the Periyar. If the government had moved fast and assessed the situation better, things would not have come to such a pass. And there were ample warnings.
This opening of the five shutters has caused massive flooding along the Periyar, especially in towns close to the dam. By evening, the massive water flow will reach thickly populated places in Aluva Periyar river bank near Kochi.
A high alert has been sounded all along the banks. The IMD has forecast more rains in the coming days.