Water will be released from the Idukki and Edamalayar reservoirs from Tuesday morning as a ‘precautionary measure’ given the possibility of heavy rainfall from Wednesday in the State, according to the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB).
Addressing a press conference here, KSEB chairman and managing director B. Ashok said the controlled spill from the Edamalayar dam will begin at 6 a.m. and the Idukki reservoir at 11 a.m. The controlled release of water will be to the tune of 100 cumecs per reservoir. The combined discharge planned is relatively low, Mr. Ashok said. “We are only preparing for a three-day intense rain,” he said.
The recent intense spell had the heaviest impact on the Idukki reservoir, James Wilson, member, Expert Advisory Group, KSEB, said. The daily inflow levels which had averaged 13-14 million cubic metres (MCM) jumped to 75.96 MCM over October 16 and 17. “This can be termed a once-in-50-years occurrence,” Mr. Wilson said.
At 4 p.m. on Monday, the storage in the Idukki reservoir stood at 1,363.86 MCM (93.4%), and Edamalayar, at 917.56 MCM (90.15%).
While the storage in the Edamalayar dam does not call for release of water at present, the decision was taken in view of the rainfall forecasts. Also, the KSEB may have to go in for more spillage from Idukki if the inflow into the reservoir during October 20 and 21 is particularly high.
“We are creating some space in Edamalayar as an added precautionary measure. It is also intended to ensure protection to Ernakulam,” Mr. Ashok said.
As on Monday, water was being released from the Kakki, Sholayar, Madupetty, Poringalkuthu, Kundala, Lower Periyar, Kallarkutty, and Moozhiyar reservoirs managed by the KSEB. But many of these reservoirs are small.
Data, a problem
Meanwhile, Mr. Ashok said the power utility is facing difficulty in obtaining real-time data on the rainfall in the catchment area of the Idukki reservoir. The IMD is providing forecasts, but no data on the rainfall occurring in the catchment areas, he said.