Water level in the Periyar river started rising after water from the dam started flowing over the spillway. Increase in inflow caused grave concern to people living on the banks of Periyar. Excess flow of water into the Idukki reservoir also made the authorities anxious.
Talking to media after visiting the dam site, Mr Premachandran said Tamil Nadu was aware of the dangerous situation and was concerned about the dam's safety. It was trying to drain the reservoir with a view to keep the water level low. 'This shows that Tamil Nadu is also aware that the dam is not safe', he added.
Revenue Minister K P Rajendran, who convened a meeting with the District Collector and area representatives to review the situation said a control room would start functioning at Mullaperiyar soon.
The meeting discussed disaster preparedness in the district against the background of weakness of the Mullaperiyar main and baby dams.
The Mullaperiyar Dam Safety Authority members also visited the dam site to review the situation.
Meanwhile, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President Ramesh Chennithala, who also visited the dam site, expressed concern over the situation arising from the rise in water level.
He asked the government to prepare a contingency plan to ensure the safety of the dam and the people living on the banks of Periyar.
The district authorities had already sounded a 'high alert' in the Periyar reservoir area yesterday after water level in the dam crossed the maximum permissible storage level of 136 ft.
Traffic on the Cumbam-Kumily stretch of National Highway-220 from Kollam to Theni was disrupted since yesterday as Tamil Nadu diverted huge quantities of water through the Irachilpalam corridor. The gushing waters flooded the path near Irachil culvert and damaged the road. Traffic was now being diverted through Chellarkovil.
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