The reservoirs of Kerala controlled by the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) will not open its shutters during the monsoon season, KSEB Chairman NS Pillai told Manorama News.
The water level at the Idukki hydroelectric dam is at 2348 feet, Pillai said. This is 58 per cent of the total dam capacity.
Only if the rain persists for consecutive days with a reading above 200 millimetres and the reservoir's water level rises to 2373 feet will the shutters be open, Pillai clarified. An alert will be sounded and all adjacent towns will be warned on that instance, he said.
However, the chances of it happening this monsoon is unlikely, Pillai added.
During the lockdown period, with the temporary closure of factories and industrial units, power consumption has been drastically low. The KSEB has incurred losses of over 780 crores during this period.
With just three weeks left for the arrival of monsoon, there is 35 per cent water in the dams in the state, an increase of 10 per cent from last year. The KSEB dams had 33 per cent water during the same period in 2018 when massive floods wreaked havoc in Kerala.
Currently, there is 43 per cent water in Idukki dam, an increase of 17ft from last year.
As the possibility of a flood looms over Kerala this year too, the high water level is a cause for concern, the environment activists warn.
Eight prominent environment and water protection council activists have submitted a memorandum to the Chief Secretary, seeking to reduce the water level in the dams and implement flood-control guidelines.
Meanwhile, the Indian Meteorological Department has predicted that India will receive normal monsoon this year. The IMD defines 'average' or 'normal' rainfall as between 96 per cent and 104 per cent, and the Long Period Average (LPA) of the seasonal rainfall across the country for the period 1961-2010 is 88 centimetres.
The country receives 75 per cent of its rainfall from the southwest monsoon from June to September. It is not only crucial for farming in the country, but also for replenishing the reservoirs, and more importantly to the economy which is still largely dependent on agriculture.
However, 'the Weather Company', a subsidiary of American IT company IBM, predicted that India is likely to have an "unusually wet" and "above normal" monsoon this season due to La Nina conditions.
It added that a transition is expected from weak El Nino conditions towards La Nina conditions during the monsoon period, which will favour a large-scale atmospheric pattern that will become increasingly conducive to heavier rainfalls later in the season.
Last year, India had received "above normal" rainfall.