4 more small dams allowed to raise shutters during night

Kerala State Disaster Management Authority issues revised guidelines

The number of small dams in the State where the shutters can be raised during the night for releasing water has been increased from six to ten.

The change has been specified in the ‘Orange Book of Disaster Management 2 : Monsoon Preparedness and Response Guidelines’ which has been updated by the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) ahead of the 2021 southwest monsoon season.

The revision, approved by the government and published on Friday, list ten dams in five districts: Kakkayam dam in Kozhikode district; Poringalkuthu and Sholayar in Thrissur district; Kallar, Irattayar, Lower periyar and Kallarkutty, in Idukki district; Moozhiyar and Maniyar in Pathanamthitta; and the Aruvikkara dam in Thiruvananthapuram.

Dams in Thrissur and Kozhikode districts were newly added to the list based on the operational experiences in 2020, a KSDMA official said.

Procedures for releasing water from the dams have been specified in the updated Orange Book. The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and the Irrigation Department which manage the dams should inspect the water levels twice a day to determine whether the shutters would have to be raised at night. The shutters should be raised only with the approval of the District Collectors. Government agencies, the authorities of the local bodies along the rivers concerned and the public should also be adequately warned.

Guidelines pertaining to the management of relief camps have been updated, given the current COVID-19 scenario in the State. The 2020 edition had specified the need for four types of camps for accommodating the quarantined, the symptomatic, sections vulnerable to COVID-19 and general camps.

The number has been pared down to two in the 2021 edition; general relief camps and buildings having rooms with attached toilets for accommodating the home-quarantined. Evacuated COVID-19 patients will be transferred to COVID first and second line treatment centres and COVID-19 hospitals.

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