Tungabhadra dam at Hospet, which is the lifeline for six districts — three each in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh — is just short of two feet to attain its full reservoir level.

This is for the first time in recent years that the filling up of the reservoir has been very slow. Usually, the dam gets filled by first fortnight of August every year and water is released from the gates on August 15. It becomes a spectacle attracting thousands of people. Last year, by July 11, the dam had started overflowing and continued till August-end.

With the monsoon being erratic this year in Shimoga, Davangere and Dharwad districts, the inflow into the reservoir has been minimum.

On Friday, the inflow into the reservoir was around 26,567 cusecs taking the level to 1,631.59 ft. as against the full reservoir level of 1,633 ft. with 98 tmcft. of water augmented. Last year, on the same day, the level of the dam had touched 1,633 ft. and was overflowing.

Tungabhadra reservoir is an inter-State project catering to the drinking water and irrigation needs of six districts — Bellary, Koppal and Raichur in the State and Anantapur, Kadapa and Kurnool districts of Andhra Pradesh.

In addition to the canals, farmers along the bank of the river down stream of the reservoir depend on the river for drinking water and for irrigation.

The water from the Tungabhadra dam was released into the canal for irrigation purposes on July 28 this kharif season.

It helped farmers take up sowing and plantation of paddy crop in the command areas. The water-level in the dam had been causing concern among farmers, especially those in Sirguppa taluk had been finding it difficult to lift water from the river. Mallikarjunaiah, zilla panchayat member from Hatcholi in Sirguppa taluk, drew the attention of the general body of the Bellary Zilla Panchayat that met here on Thursday about the plight of farmers and urged them to take up the matter with the Tungabhadra Board authorities to get water released into the river.

Keywords: Tungabhadra dam

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