Huge water leakage from Baby Dam in Kerala causes threat to people living downstream


Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 21 (UNI) The leakage of water in large quantity from the Baby Dam of 'giant' 126-year-old Mullaperiyar dam in the Idukki district of Kerala is causing threat to people living downstream.

The water leakage from Baby Dam in excess quantity was followed by maintaining the water level of Mullaperiyar dam at 142 ft, sources said on Tuesday.

Water reaches Baby Dam when the water level crosses 118 ft in Mullaperiyar dam, which comprises the main dam, the Baby Dam, an earthen dam and the spillway.

The leakage in excess quantity was found on the ground portion of the baby dam, this was noticed in a recent inspection by the officials of the Kerala Water Resources Department.

On November 17, 2021, mild earth quakes were reported at three villages in Pala, which is about 36 km away from Idukki where Mullaperiyar dam and Cheruthoni-Idukki Dam are situated.

The tremors with a magnitude of 1.9 on the Richter scale occurred in three villages, Edamattom, Bharananganam and Panackapalam of Meenachil Taluk in Kottayam district.

Any mishap with the Mullaperiyar dam can lead to a cascading effect in another Idukki Dam located downstream of Mullaperiyar Dam, causing concern for 3.5 million people living downstream.

Earlier, the Kerala filed an Interlocutory Application (IA) in the Supreme Court seeking its urgent intervention on Mullaperiyar dam issue as Tamil Nadu, with its unilateral actions, continued to release huge quantity of water during night time without a warning thereby causing a threat to people living downstream, Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine earlier said.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan earlier had urged Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin to take steps to issue prior notice before releasing water from Mullaperiyar dam.

In a letter to MK Stalin, Mr Vijayan expressed concern over releasing water in huge quantity without issuing a prior notice which is causing panic among people living downstream of the Mullaperiyar dam operated by the Tamil Nadu.

Mr Augustine urged the Tamil Nadu government earlier to reduce the water level below 142 ft in view of incessant rains in the catchment areas causing heavy inflow into the dam.