Crowds gather to watch nearly full Idukki reservoir

Idukki (Kerala) Sep 21 : All roads Saturday appear to lead to Kerala's Idukki reservoir that is brimming with water.

The Idukki reservoir has three dams and the shutters of one of them, in all probability, would be opened, a senior official said Saturday.

If the shutters are indeed opened, it would be only the third time in the history of the reservoir that this would have happened, according to officials of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB).

The shutters were opened Oct 29, 1981 and Oct 11, 1992.

With Onam holidays ending Sunday, there has been an unprecedented rush of people from districts like Kottayam, Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta and also from parts of Idukki to the areas near the dam site.

The Idukki reservoir is impounded by three dams: Idukki arch dam, the Kulamavu dam and the Cheruthoni dam.

Of the three, only the Cheruthoni dam has shutters.

K.K. Karuppankutty, chief engineer, Dam Safety, KSEB, told the media that his team is now inspecting the dam site to make an on-the-spot assessment. He said the team had found the dam full to 98 percent of its capacity.

"At present, the water level is at 2,401.37 feet, and when the water level touches 2,402.15 feet, the shutters will be opened. We are here to inspect the gates and the route through which the water will flow, if it has to be opened," Karuppankutty said.

Revenue authorities are now making elaborate arrangements and have opened 14 control rooms in and around the areas where the water will flow.

A special control room has been opened at the Kochi international airport, as the water that begins flowing down the Cheruthoni dam could have an effect in and around the Kochi airport, even though it is located more than 100 km away.

--IANS (Posted on 21-09-2013)

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