Three of the five shutters of the Cheruthoni dam in Idukki were opened on Tuesday morning
It was a rather peaceful day in Cheruthoni town on Tuesday and the vehicles crossed the chappath (low-lying bridge) as usual. And quiet flew the Periyar under the bridge after three of the five shutters of the Cheruthoni dam were opened in the morning.
A day before, it was perhaps just a trickle in the river close to the downstream of the Idukki arch dam. When the three shutters of the dam of the Idukki reservoir were opened, the water smoothly flowed down to the Periyar close to the arch dam that was constructed to connect the Kuravan and the Kurathi hills.
The arch dam is one of the largest of its kind in Asia. While the water from the reservoir is released through the gates on the Cheruthoni dam, it is the Kulamavu dam that provides the discharge for power generation at the Moolamattom power station.
In August 2018 when all the five shutters of the Cheruthoni dam were opened, traffic through the chappathu connecting Puliyanmala-Thodupuzha State highway was blocked for days. Many shops were washed away in Cheruthoni, the first town affected by flooding waters, in 2018.
“However, this time, the flow of water was smooth and there was no disruption to vehicular traffic or routine life in the town,” said Girijan Raman, a local resident and a wildlife photographer. He said that people were initially anxious about the opening of shutters.
However, they have since heaved a sigh of relief. Hundreds of local residents, in addition to media persons and photographers, thronged the dam area to witness the dam opening on Tuesday.