People living along river banks asked to move to safer places

In a precautionary measure, the district administration has issued a warning to people living along the banks of the Coleroon River to move to safer places as the surplus discharges from the Amaravathy and Noyyal rivers is likely to be diverted into the river from Upper Anicut (Mukkombu).

About 22,000 cusecs of surplus water from the Amaravathy Rivar is flowing into the Cauvery. This apart, the surplus flow from Noyyal River and the rain flow combined to make for a realisation of about 32,000 cusecs at the Kattalai Barrage on Wednesday, sources in the River Conservation Division of the Public Works Department told The Hindu. The discharge from the Mettur Reservoir is being maintained at just 1,000 cusecs.

There was a possibility of an increase in the realisation as the surplus discharge from the Kodaganaru has reportedly been stepped up to about 8,000 cusecs.

“Once the water reaches Upper Anicut, late on Wednesday night, and depending on the situation, we may have to divert a portion of it into the Coleroon River. As a matter of abundant precaution, we have alerted the district administration to advice people living along the river bank to move to safer places,” an officer of the department of told The Hindu.

One of the main concerns of the department is the presence of a colony of dhobis (washer men) who live along the banks of the river, near the Tollgate in the city.

They would be alerted by tom-toms through the Revenue authorities. Besides, field-level officials of the PWD have also been asked to alert the locals. Collector Jayashree Muralidharan appealed to people not to cross the river or let out their cattle into the river.

Following the recent rain and the absence of demand for irrigation in the delta, surplus water was already being diverted into the Coleroon River at Grand Anicut. The diversion of the surplus flow at Upper Anicut would help recharge the water sources on the river bed.

However, the PWD would have to do a balancing act so as not to affect the operations of the five sand quarries on the river between Upper Anicut and Grand Anicut. The discharge of water from Grand Anicut has affected operations in four quarries on the river, the sources said.