Parambikulam dam shutter damaged, water gushes into Chalakudy river

Parambikulam dam
One of the three shutters of Parambikulam Dam located in Palakkad district was damaged on Sept 20, 2022. Photo: Manorama

Palakkad: The water flow to Chalakudy river here on Wednesday increased after one of the three shutters of Parambikulam Dam located in Palakkad district was damaged.

The shutter, which is usually raised by 10 centimetres at a time, automatically opened for the entire height of 25 feet by 2 am on Wednesday.

The Kerala Police and Water Authority have asked the residents near the river to exercise caution. People from vulnerable tribal areas will relocated to safer havens, Palakad District Collector Mrinmai Shashank informed.

The security personnel on night shift alerted the authorities about the incident after he heard a loud noise. He had noticed a huge outflow of water from the dam shutter on investigating.

The dam is on the Parambikulam river and is located at Parambikulam area of Palakkad district. It is India's largest embankment dam (artificial dam) and ranks in the top 10 in the world in terms of the volume of water it can hold.

The Parambikulam Dam is under the control of Tamil Nadu government.

The two functioning shutters of the dam were, meanwhile, lifted by 10 cm each to prevent any damage to these shutters from rising pressure of the water.

Peringalkuthu Dam | Photo: Russel Shahul
Peringalkuthu Dam.Photo: Russel Shahul/Manorama

Peringalkuthu Dam reaches maximum limit

The water flow to Chalakudy river, which is a tributary of the Periyar, increased as all the 6 shutters of the Peringalkuthu Dam were raised. Two sluice gates at the dam were also lifted. This concrete dam is built across the Chalakudi river in Thrissur district.

Around 20,000 cusecs (one cubic foot per second) of water is flowing into the Peringalkuthu Dam at present. The dam has already reached its maximum capacity of 421.5 metre.

The Thrissur Wildlife warden and Chitoor Tahsildar were alerted.

People living on the banks of the river should exercise vigil as the water level can rise upto 4.5 metres here, Thrissur Collector Haritha V Kumar said. The Collector also asked the public to stay calm as the situation was under control. People living on the banks of the river have been to asked to refrain from fishing and bathing in the river as around 400 cusecs of additional water is expected to arrive in Chalakkudy river.

The Tamil Nadu government is trying to repair the shutter at the earliest, the Collector added.

The favourable weather conditions and the relatively low water level in Chalakkudy river has come as a relief to the authorities.

Meanwhile, Revenue Minister K Rajan has appealed to the public to remain calm.

"Kindly follow government notifications and alerts. The repair work will begin only after proper investigation in the morning. A rule curve committee will be summoned to discuss the matter," the Minister said.

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