Boating in Thekkady lake may be suspended in a few days as water level has fallen considerably in the past few days. The water level at the Mullaperiyar dam on Monday was 109.3 ft. The large boat of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) has already cancelled service and the low-capacity boats too will suspend services if the water-level dropped further. The KTDC boat with a capacity to carry 125 persons had been conducting services after reducing the capacity to half.
In October last, the boat’s service was suspended after water level reached below 109.5 ft.
However, boating was resumed as water level touched 111 ft following rain in the forest.
The dead storage level of the Mullaperiyar dam is 108 ft and after that Tamil Nadu cannot draw water from the reservoir.
225 cft a second
An official of the Tamil Nadu Public Works Department told
on Monday that the State was drawing water at 225 cubic feet (cft) per second where as the inflow was 34 cft per second. The State was presently drawing water for drinking purposes alone, he said.
An official of the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) said that small boats of the KTDC and the boats owned by the Forest Department with a capacity of 60 to 65 people continued services.
If the water level declined further, all boating services would to be suspended.
For the past three seasons, the lowest water level was above 110 ft. The lowest water level of the season is usually recorded during June-July months.
According to PTR Deputy Director Kishan Kumar, the tree stumps in the lake posed a threat to boating and the services were being conducted at reduced capacity.
The channel through which the boat passed would change in accordance with the reservoir level.
Mr. Kishan Kumar said that boating was only a part of the tourism attractions in Thekkady, besides trekking, sight seeing, and daily art shows.
There was a good inflow of tourists, including foreigners, to Thekkady as the season was at a peak. Tourists reaching Munnar preferred to visit Thekkady too.
Severe cold conditions prevailed in Munnar, attracting more tourists.