The over four-decade-old Idukki was opened today after 26 years in the wake of torrential rain raising the water level 2,398.8 against its full level of 2,304 ft.
The middle of the five shutters of Cheruthoni Dam, which along with Kulamavu forms the Idukki dam, was raised by 50cm for a four-hour trial run. Around 50,000 litres water would be discharged per second. The water will flow through forest areas to reach Lower Periyar and then to Boothathankettu dam and later to Idalamayar dam. Shutters of both the dams have remained open.
From Idalamayar, it will flow through the Periyar, passing through Kothamangalam, Perumbavoor, Kalady, Aluva, Parur and Eloor in Ernakulam district before reaching the Arabian Sea. The whole flow process is estimated to take around 7-8 hours.
Already the water level of the Periyar has been rising since afternoon, following the opening of four shutters of Idamalayar dam in the morning. The shutters were earlier opened in 1981 and 1992, but during the northeast monsoon in October. This is the first time it has been opened during southwest monsoon.