Mullaperiyar panel gives scant regard to increasing water leak from baby dam

Idukki: Water seepage through two galleries of the Mullaperiyar reservoir dam is increasing day by day, reveals data provided to Kerala by the government of Tamil Nadu.

When the water level is 142 feet, the amount of leakage through the galleries is 185 liters of water per minute. When the water level drops to 136 feet, the leak drops to 137-188 liters per minute.

The Mullaperiyar Dam comprises the 152-foot-high, 1,200-foot-long main dam, a 240-foot x 115-foot baby dam, and a 240-foot x 20-foot earthen dam.

The monitoring panel remains off
The monitoring committee appointed by the Supreme Court has yet to visit the dam site. It also failed to inspect the main dam after the water level reached 142 feet several times in the recent past.

It is alleged that the Government of Kerala or the Kerala state representative on the monitoring committee did not impress the panel on the need to visit the dam site to assess the problem first-hand.

Officials from the Kerala Department of Water Resources first drew the attention of senior officials to the severity of the leak after an inspection at the dam. The leak in the trough could be found a few days ago, when the rainy season ended.

TN booth

The position of the Tamil Nadu government is that the water inflow to the dam was greatly reduced after the end of the rainy season and now there is no threat to the baby dam.

Water leaks both at a height of 10 feet and 45 feet from the bottom of the dam are measured in order to prepare the seepage data.

On Tuesday, the water level at the Mullaperiyar Dam stood at 140.9 feet. Tamil Nadu is taking around 600 cubic feet of water to generate power. Compared to recent years, Tamil Nadu now diverts only a quarter of the water to its side.

Data regarding water leakage through the galleries has been provided to Kerala by Tamil Nadu. But neither Tamil Nadu nor the monitoring committee is silent on the matter. According to the Supreme Court ruling, the monitoring committee must visit the dam, review the situation, and then take the necessary safety safeguards every time the water level rises. But the monitoring panel has paid little attention to such an order.

Instead of visiting the dam and then holding the meeting to review the situation, the monitoring committee called an online meeting. The general feeling is that the online meetings were deliberately called to give the impression that the leak is not that bad.

TN team visit mother mother

A Tamil Nadu government delegation visited the Mullaperiyar Dam when the water leak was reported the other day.

A team led by the representative of the Theni district collector and the head of the district irrigation department visited the dam site and reviewed the situation. Details of the visit were not released by the Tamil Nadu government.

Since the bottom of the baby dam is buried with mud, the TN team was unable to conduct a field survey.


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