Tirunelveli: Copious rains in the catchment areas of all the major dams in Nellai district has resulted in a total discharge of around 25,000 cusecs from all the dams.
According to PWD sources, the discharge from the Papanasam dam alone was 14,295 cusecs, resulting in heavy discharge in the Thamirabarani river that was in spate on Wednesday morning. Water level further increased in the afternoon in the river as the discharge from Papanasam and its lower dam increased by around 2,000 cusecs.
Instructing people residing in low-lying areas to move to safer places, district collector Shilpa Prabakar Satish, said that there was no need to panic since the district administration was closely monitoring the situation. The administration has taken all precautionary measures to face any situation, she added.
Almost all 11 dams in the district have attained their maximum capacity. Papanasam dam, the biggest dam in south Tamil Nadu was just short of two to three feet to reach its full capacity of 143 feet. However, for safety reasons, the PWD had discharged around 16,011 cusecs on Monday morning. The discharge from Papanasam and its lower dam was drastically reduced to 6,580 cusecs by 4 pm on Monday, said a PWD officer.
The discharge of 2,380 cusecs from the Gadana dam since Sunday evening too was said to have been stopped despite the increase in inflow into the dam to 3,439 cusecs. As of Monday evening, the water level at Gadana dam was at 77.80 feet against its full capacity of 85 feet.
All the falls in Court-allam and Papanasam are in spate, and tourists have been banned from taking bath. However a youth, Prabhu of Sivakasi, who went for a bath despite the warning at Puliyaruvi (Tiger falls) in Courtallam, was washed away. The stone mandapams on the banks of Thamirabarani near the Tirunelveli collector’s office were all submerged in water.
The situation in neighbouring Kanyakumari district too was equally worse bad due to heavy discharge of 30,360 cusecs of water from the Perunchani dam into the Paraliyaru river. The combined discharge from Perunchani and Pechiparai dams in Kanyakumari district flooded several villages like Boothapandi, Arumanallur and Therisanankoppe in the district. The Sappathu bridge at Keeriparai was inundated, cutting off connectivity with the rubber estate workers colony at Keeriparai. Around 150 families of the rubber estate workers were stranded at Keeriparai, but were safely rescued by the revenue and fire service personnel.