Security breach at Cheruthoni: Dam shutters safe, says KSEB engineer after inspection

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Idukki: Allaying fears of a security breach at the Cheruthoni dam, the deputy chief engineer of the reservoir safety organisation of KSEB on Tuesday said that the shutters of the dam were safe.

In July, a youth had poured sanitiser on the iron wires used for lifting the shutters of the dam.

Deputy chief engineer P N Biju, who conducted a four-and-a-half-hour-long inspection of all the five shutters of Cheruthoni dam, said that all metal wires were functioning properly and that there were no signs of any spilling on them.

“The metal wire has a coating and the shutter system is working properly. We conducted the inspection from 10 am to 2.30 pm. All five shutters were lifted and closed without any issues,” he added.

The Ottapalam youth had poured sanitiser on the iron wires and put 11 locks on the tower bolts and cables. The security breach occurred at 3.15 pm on July 22 according to the CCTV footage. KSEB staff noticed it during the routine maintenance work on September 4.

The youth sought treatment for mental issues earlier, investigating officers said.

Idukki Circle Inspector Satheeshkumar S, who is leading the investigation team, said close relatives of the accused have given a statement that the youth had earlier undergone treatment for delusional disorder.

He had flown back to the Gulf before the security breach came to light recently. Idukki police chief will be soon issuing a lookout notice for the youth against whom an FIR has been registered after invoking sections of the Official Secrets Act.

Due to the weak monsoon, the water level in the Idukki Dam has risen only up to 32 per cent of its capacity. Hence, no water spilled out of the dam when the shutters were opened for the check.

It is through the shutters of the Cheruthoni that the water in the Idukki dam, which has the largest power project in the state, is released.

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