10-tmcft reservoir sought to support KC canal

The Irrigation Advisory Board (IAB) here, on Friday, unanimously resolved to seek the government’s sanction for the construction of a 10-tmcft reservoir on Tungabhadra river to support the KC canal.

The meeting was chaired by Collector C. Sudarshan Reddy while Ministers -- T.G. Venkatesh, D.L. Ravindra Reddy, Erasu Pratap Reddy --, MLAs Katasani Rambhupal Reddy, Y. Channa Kesava Reddy and Balanagi Reddy, Superintending Engineer Sudhakar and others were present.

The presidents of Water Users Associations proposed the reservoir on the ground that the existing barrage with a capacity of only 1.2 tmcft was unable to support the canal which required around 60 tmcft while the actual allocation was 39.9 tmcft.

The meeting agreed to the view of the WUA presidents and passed a resolution to this effect. Members also felt the need to speed up the construction of Rajoli scheme and Joladarasi scheme that supported the KC Canal.

A heated debate took place on the supply by the Tungabhadra LLC as farmers and MLAs demanded water supply till the end of February to save the standing crops.

The irrigation officials clarified that only 4 tmcft was available under the quota of LLC. Of it, 2.5 tmcft was earmarked for drinking water needs while only 1.5 tmcft was available for irrigation. The meeting decided to refer the matter to the government since securing 1.5 tmcft also required the support of Karnataka government to prevent diversion. Only the government headed by the Chief Minister is competent to take a decision on how to use the remaining water.

Meanwhile, members and WUA presidents expressed serious concern over the short supply of water through LLC as only 15 tmcft was released as against the allocation of 25 tmcft.

The meeting resolved to supply two tmcft to Telugu Ganga and ensure supply under Owk reservoir till February 15.

Several studies have been conducted on the feasibility of the Tungabhadra reservoir. Retired Engineer M. Subbarayudu also presented a report proposing a reservoir with a capacity of 20 tmcft at Gundrevula to support both the KC canal and the RDS canal.

The farmers of Alampur in Mahabubnagar district also agreed to a reservoir which would make the RDS canal flow after a gap of 25 years.

The Indian Irrigation Commission and the Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal 1 and 2 also suggested the additional reservoir to support canals below the TB dam.

Experts feel that the shortage of water in Tungabhadra river could deepen further in the years to come once upper Tunga, Upper Bhadra and Singatalur reservoirs in Karnataka are completed.

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