Water in Mullaperiyar dam near maximum level

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With catchment areas receiving copious rains in the past two days, water level in the 116-year-old Mullaperiyar dam on Sunday rose to 135.7 feet, against the maximum permissible storage level of 136 feet.

The district administration assured that there was no reason to panic but opened three control rooms to monitor the situation and help people in case of emergency.

According to official sources, two spillways of the dam have been opened as the water level rose by about five feet on Saturday.

The flow of water towards Tamil Nadu, however, has been reduced as the reservoirs and canals of adjoining districts of the state are full on account of heavy rains in the past two days, sources said.

Meanwhile, a team of scientists are conducting inspection in the Mullaperiyar area to ascertain the impact of recent tremors on the dam.

Kerala has escalated demand for construction of a new dam at Mullaperiyar holding that the present structure posed a grim threat to nearly three million people, mainly in Idukki, Kottayam and Ernakulam districts.

Both the ruling Congress-led UDF and the opposition LDF have also sought urgent Central intervention to resolve the tiff between the two states by persuading Tamil Nadu to agree to the idea of a new dam.

However, holding a contradictory view, Tamil Nadu has opposed construction of a new dam, asserting that the present reservoir ‘is as safe and good as new’ and accused Kerala of whipping up fear psychosis.

Meanwhile, other southern districts of Kerala, including the state's capital, have been battered by rains in the last two days under the influence of a depression formed in the sea off the Kanyakumari coast.

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