Tamil Nadu releasing water from Mullaperiyar Dam didn't cause Kerala floods: CWC report

New Delhi: The release of water from the Mullaperiyar Dam was not one of the reasons behind the Kerala floods, as claimed by the state government, according to a report released by the Central Water Commission (CWC) on Tuesday.

Built in 1895 on the Periyar River in Idukki district of Kerala, the Mullaperiyar Dam came under the spotlight after the Kerala government accused Tamil Nadu, which maintains the reservoir, of releasing the water without warning, when the state received extremely heavy rainfall from 15 to 17 August that led to the devastating floods in the state.

 Tamil Nadu releasing water from Mullaperiyar Dam didnt cause Kerala floods: CWC report

File image of Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala. Wikimedia commons.

"The sudden release from the Mullaperiyar dam, the third largest reservoir in Periyar Basin, forced us to release more water from the Idukki reservoir, downstream of Mullaperiyar, which is one of the causes of this deluge," an affidavit filed by the Kerala government in the Supreme Court said last month.

According to the CWC report, the average release from the Idukki reservoir on 15 August was about 1,100 cumecs (a cubic metre per second), with peak release of 1,500 cumecs against the average inflow of 1,640 cumecs.

The Idukki reservoir received an average 533 cumecs discharge from Mullaperiyar on 15 August, with a peak discharge of 760 cumecs. The average release from the Idukki reservoir on 16 August was about 1,400 cumecs, with peak release of 1,500 cmecs against the average inflow of about 2,000 cumecs, the report stated.

On 16 August, the Idukki reservoir received an average 650 cumecs discharge from Mullaperiyar Dam, with a peak discharge of 760 cumecs. The average release from the Idukki reservoir on 17 August was about 1,460 cumecs, with peak release of 1,500 cumecs against the average inflow of about 1,440 cumecs.

However, with regard to the Idukki Dam, the report said: "It can be concluded that the Idukki reservoir's contribution to the overall flooding situation downstream was miniscule. It had, in fact, provided an attenuation of flood peak by about 1,030 cumecs when peak inflow impinged the reservoir."

NN Rai, director (hydrology-south) with the CWC and author of the report, said it was not right to blame the release of water from the Mullaperiyar Dam as the reason behind the deluge. "Is is not justified (to blame release of water from Mullaperiyar Dam). I don't agree with that," Rai said, noting that it is purely a technical study.

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Updated Date: Sep 11, 2018 23:05:40 IST