Dam

 

In the heart of the District lies the 'IDUKKI DAM' - Asia's biggest Arch Dam of 555 feet height proudly standing between the two mountains - 'Kuravanmala' (839 meters) and 'Kurathimala' (925 meters ). This prestigeous project of our nation is situated in Idukki District and its underground Power House is located at Moolamattom which is about 19 kms from Thodupuzha. Idukki Dam is 43 kms away from Moolamattom.

 

The Idukki Arch Dam

History

 

Shri Karuvellayan Kolumban

The possibility of Hydroelecric development at Idukki was first conceived in 1919. As per history Shri Kolumban, the head of 'Araya' race during 1922 showed the way, to the Malankara Estate Superintendent and his friend Thomas, who were on hunting spree in the forest, the spot of present Arch Dam. He told them of the legend of Kuravan and Kurathi Hills. The mind of Thomas was stirred by the sight of water flow between the mountains and his idea made the dream true of Idukki Arch Dam. Sri. W.J.John of Malankara Estate submitted a report to the Government of Travancore in 1932 on the possiability of constructing a dam at Idukki for Power Generation.

In 1947 Sri.P.Joseph John,then Chief Electrical Engineer to the Government of Travancore made a preliminary investigation report. On the request made by the Government, the Central Water and Power Commission took up detailed investigation in 1956. The project report was prepared in 1961 and the Planning Commission accorded sanction for implementing the scheme in 1963 and the preliminary works of the project were started.

The gorge between two granite hills across which the Idukki arch dam is constructed - A view prior to the dam construction

The project was posed for Canadian aid and its scope was enlarged and a revised project report was drawn up in 1956-66. The construction of this Dam commenced on 30 April 1969. Storage of water in idukki reservoir commenced in February,1973. The inauguration of trial run of the first machine was celebrated on 4th October,1975. Commercial operation of the Power Station was Commissioned on 12 February 1976 by the then Hon. Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi.

Construction of this Arch Dam and two other dams at Cheruthony and Kulamavu has created an artificial lake of 60 sq. kms. width and the water stored, is utilised for production of electricity at the unique Moolamattom Power house, which is located inside the rocky caves.

 

Foreign Aid

The Government of Canada aided the Project with long term loans and grants. M/s S.N.C.Inc., Canada, a well-known firm of Consulting Engineers were advising and assisting Project Engineers under the Canadian Aid.

 

Project in Brief

 

The Project harnesses a major portion of the power potential of Periyar, the largest river in Kerala State, by the creation of a reservoir of 2,000 M.cum (2 Billion Tonnes) capacity, diversion of waters thus impounded through a water conductor system consisting of a power tunnel and two underground pressure shafts to an underground power house situated in Muvattupuzha Valley.

The installed capacity of the Power House is 780MW consisting of 6 Units of 180 MW each.The regulated waters of Periyar falls through a drop of about 669.2 metres (2195 feet) while generating power in the underground power house. The tail waters flowing to Kudayathurpuzha through tunnel and open channel will later be diverted for irrigation purposes in the Muvattupuzha Valley.