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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 27 November 2021 5.12 AM IST

Sholayar, Kakki dams opened, two shutters of Idukki dam to be opened on Tuesday; Sabarimala pilgrimage on hold

idukkidam

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With water levels rising due to heavy rains in the catchment areas, a red alert was issued in respect of 10 dams in Kerala, two shutters of Kakki dam here were opened and pilgrimage to Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala has been put on hold for now, state Revenue Minister K Rajan said on Monday.

After a review meeting held at the Pathanamthitta district collectorate here to assess the situation, Rajan and state Health Minister Veena George said at a press conference that it has been decided to open the Kakki dam to release around 100-200 cumex water which would increase the water level of Pampa river by around 15 centimetres.

In view of the expected worsening of the weather from October 20 till October 24, according to IMD information, the ministers said it would not be possible to permit pilgrimage to the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala for the Thula Masam poojas for which the shrine had been opened from October 16.

The ministers said there is "no other option" but to stop the pilgrimage for now, as otherwise it would be difficult to safely rescue everyone if water levels in the nearby Pampa river were to rise further due to the heavy rains predicted from October 20.

The shutters of the Sholayar dam were also opened on Monday. With this, the banks of the Chalakudy river in Thrissur district has become extremely vigilant.

Meanwhile, the Idukki dam will be opened at 11 am on Tuesday in the wake of the rising water level. Minister Roshy Augustine said that two shutters of the dam would be raised by 50 cm each. One lakh litre water will be released from the dam every second. The decision to open the dam was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by the minister.

The decision to open the dam was taken as the catchment area of the dam continued to receive heavy rainfall. A warning has been issued in Vathikudy, Kanjikuzhi and Kamakshi panchayats. Authorities have also prohibited night travel to the area where the dam is located. 64 families will be relocated from the area as part of the precautionary measures.

Minister Rajan said that a red alert has been declared for 10 dams, which include, Kakki, Sholayar, Matupatti, Moozhiyar, Kundala and Peechi, most of which are located in Pathanamthitta, Idukki and Thrissur districts of the state.

As the water level in various dams including Sholayar, Pamba, Kakki and Idamalayar was rising, the state government called a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to take stock of the situation.

The low-lying areas of Cherickal, Poozhikadu, Mudiyoorkonam and Kurambala regions near Pandalam, along the banks of Achankovil river, have been flooded.

As the water level in the Achankovil has been rising, an alert has been sounded along the banks near regions of Aranmula, Kidangannur and Omalloor.

People have been shifted to various relief camps opened in Pathanamthitta district.

Meanwhile, the state government has appointed ADGP Vijay Sakhare as the nodal officer to coordinate the rescue and relief operations.

Thrissur District Collector Haritha V Kumar urged the public residing along the banks of Chalakudy river to remain vigilant as water levels were rising as the Sholayar dam was opened during the day.

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