Security breach: KSEB inspects Cheruthoni dam shutters

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A view of the Cheruthoni dam in Idukki after the shutters were raised on Tuesday.

A view of the Cheruthoni dam in Idukki after the shutters were raised on Tuesday.
| Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) dam safety wing on Tuesday raised the shutters of the Cheruthoni dam in the Idukki reservoir and inspected the functioning of the shutter gates. The inspection was conducted after a youth placed locks on the earthing strips of eight high-mast lights on the Cheruthoni and Idukki dams and poured some liquid on the wire rope of the shutters on July 22.

KSEB dam safety wing deputy chief engineer Biju P.N. said all five shutters of the Cheruthoni dam were raised and no issues were found. “The shutter gates and ropes were functioning smoothly. There was no structural damage to the dam. Before the monsoon, cardium compound was applied on the ropes for its smooth functioning and prevention of any corrosion,” said Mr. Biju.

“The KSEB has requested the police to provide additional security at the Cheruthoni dam. We have requested scanning and use of metal detectors before allowing visitors entry,” said Mr. Biju.

“After investigation, if the police recommend any additional arrangements at the dam, we will provide it. If needed, the KSEB will also provide additional training to our officials,” he said.

According to sources, nine police personnel were deployed for the dam’s security till 2019. This was later reduced to two after the police found no security threat in the area. “We have requested the police to deploy more security personnel at the dam site,” said a source.

Idukki Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) Jilson Mathew said the police will soon tighten the security at the Idukki dam.

Meanwhile, the police continued the steps to issue a look-out circular against the accused.

The security breach reportedly occurred around 3:15 p.m. on July 22. The accused left the country for a Gulf nation on July 27.

The matter came to light on September 4 after KSEB dam safety officials discovered the presence of locks on the base of the high-mast lights.

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