Screenshot from a video showing a top view of the entire Idukki dams including the arch dam, reservoir and Cheruthoni, 31 July 2018. The reservoir is at capacity after the worst monsoon floods in nearly 100 years. Photo: Jipson Sikhera / Times of India

IDUKKI, 31 July 2018 (Gulf News) – The Idukki dam, where the water level is inching up towards the danger level, has come to symbolise the tenuous ties between faith and the fear of floods.

Idukki district authorities are keeping a close watch on the rising waters in the Idukki dam, where an "orange alert" has been issued as the water level touched 2,395ft.

Heavy rains have taken the water level in the Idukki dam close to danger level, prompting authorities to consider opening the dam’s shutters.

A 'puja' was performed on Tuesday, praying for the dam gates to remain shut so that nearby areas escape flooding. The last time the gates were opened was in 1992.

All this while the water level stood at 2,395 feet, just 4 feet below the danger level, prompting the authorities to issue an 'orange alert.'

According to a legend, it was Chemban Karuvellayan Kolumban, the head of 'Oorali' race in 1922, identified the present spot of the dam located between the Kuravan and Kurathi granite hills. […]

The authorities decided to honour Kolumban by erecting a memorial in his honour near the dam. The 'puja' was performed on Tuesday by his grandson, Bhaskaran.

"The Electricity Board authorities donated the money for the puja. Every one prayed that if the dam shutters were to be opened, there should be no problem to anyone, as the water would rush downstream," said Bhaskaran. [more]

Faith versus flood fear at Kerala's Idukki dam as monsoon rains lash India

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