Kozhikode: The flooding and damage resulting from the opening of all the shutters of Idukki dam within 24 hours could have been avoided if a scientific operational schedule was followed, lifting the shutters much earlier.
This is the view of Prof E.J. James, noted surface water scientist and former member of Kerala Dam Safety Authority.
Mr James told DC that perhaps those responsible for opening the shutters were afraid to do so earlier fearing some mechanical snags to the system during the process or they might have been told that maximum water should be stored to generate power.
“I was witness to the doubts, fears and hesitancy of the officials concerned when Idukki dam was opened 24 years ago when the official alerted me of the adverse possibilities,” he said.
“This time steps could have been taken to avoid the calamities downstre-am,” he added.
“Idamalayaar was ope-ned first and then Idukki within 24 hours indicating the absence of a proper operational schedule whi-ch details what is to be done when water level reaches each level,” he said. “Saving maximum water for power generation is good. But there were IMD predictions about incessant rain and water level was bound to increase.
“The present situation could have been avoided at least partially and unnecessary panic was created among the people by the government and agencies. There should be a scientific reservoir operation policy. Science and technology should come to our help. The losses incurred for generating more power cannot be justified,” he said