Thiruvananthapuram : Given the onslaught of severe rains, the decision regarding opening of dams shall be entrusted to an Expert Committee, said Chief Minister at the High-level Meeting held in the capital today to decide future course of things.
The Expert Committee will assess water levels at each dam before deciding if to open shutters or otherwise. If there be a need to drain dam water, the Expert Committee shall inform the concerned District Collector hours before the actual opening, so there is sufficient time to evacuate residents from risky areas. Such procedure is meant to prevent people from being caught off-guard in case of an eventuality, said CM at the meeting.
184 disaster relief camps have been opened. Over and above supervision from the Revenue Department, the local self-government bodies should also oversee availability of food, clothing, bedding and other facilities at these camps. Facilities at the camp shall be upped with view to prevalent Covid conditions, the meeting decided.
Searches will continue for missing persons. State and central rescue workers, and locals are working together to come up on the people reported missing. It has also been decided for evacuating people compulsorily from places prone to mudslide and landslides. The meeting also decided to block vehicle movement through stretches where water levels are high.
At the meeting, CM asked to issue instructions to District Collectors for speedy remittances of relief moneies. Detailed reports should be sought from districts on crop damage in each of the districts. . It was also decided to disallow pilgrimage to Sabarimala for Thula pooja this time around. Perintharuvi received above 20 cm rainfall by Sunday itself leading to a situation for likely opening of the Kakki dam. Rivers are rising and there is likelihood of heavy rains, landslides and mudslides in the forest regions.
Fresh forecasts from IMD today suggests there will be heavy rains once again starting Wednesday, the reason why Thula pooja pilgrimage cannot be allowed in current conditions, the meeting decided. The district administrations have been instructed to arrange for safe return of pilgrims who have already reached Nilakel.
Two districts are hardest hit by torrential rains. More downpours are predicted across the state from 20th lasting 2 – 3 days.
The Chief Minister also announced postponing to 25th the re-opening of colleges in the state.
The IMD has not registered onset of north-east monsoons(thula varsham) for the state and yet, the state has already received 84% rains due from it by 17th of October. Under these circumstance, given that the period between October to December marks the cyclone season, we could expect more sea depressions/cyclones this time around.
Orange alerts have been issued for Idukki Mattupetti, Pnmudia and Pamba. Blue Alert has been issued for Idamalayar iin Ernakulam.
Pichi and Chimanni dams of Irrigation Department are put on Red Alert. Rivers of Kallada, Chullaar, Meenkra, Malamburza and Mangalam are on Orange Alert.
The meeting also called for close monitoring of rescue efforts and make timely interventions as may been needed.
Attendees at the meeting comprised ministers of revenue and electricity, chief secretary and officials of various departments.