Nation Other News 28 Apr 2017 Officials seek to ra ...

Officials seek to raise water level at Peppara dam

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | RAKESH NAIR
Published Apr 28, 2017, 6:55 am IST
Updated Apr 28, 2017, 7:04 am IST
Want Peppara maintained at 110.5 mts.
Peppara dam
 Peppara dam

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With drought affecting water supply in the city, a section of water resources officials has started lobbying to raise the maximum storage level at Peppara dam by three metres and maintain 110.5 metre level to deal with future harsh summers. Such an increase would ensure additional water for another month to the city but would sink valuable forest land. It was only in recent years that the maximum storage level was raised by three metres to 107.5m. “Originally, Peppara dam was expected to meet the needs of the city only until 2020. We are still far away from new projects to reuse water. So to sail smoothly for another 5 to 10 years, we need to raise the maximum storage level. A detailed discussion will be held regarding this,” said an official attached to the Water Resources Department.

However, both environmentalists and forest officials are unhappy about the idea. “An environmental impact study needs to be conducted. We need to desilt Peppara dam and Aruvikkara rather than increase storage levels. The Central government’s nod will be needed to desilt some parts of Peppara sanctuary,” said a Forest official. “Eight healthy rivulets inside the forest on the Southern and North Eastern side of Peppara dam saved us from a deep water crisis during this drought”, said an  environmentalist.

 

“If water level is further increased, the catchment area would be affected. Incidentally the Western and North side of Agasthya koodam has acacia and eucalyptus plantations which are infamous for reducing water levels,” said Raj Kumar, an environmental activist. “There are acacia plantations in Paruthippally range and there are Eucalyptus plantations in Chathancode area which falls on the Tamil Nadu side and we don’t consider it as a threat,” Forest officials said.

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