The outflow from the Krishnaraja Sagar reservoir (KRS) near Srirangapatna crossed 15,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs) on Friday morning. Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd. (CNNL) officials said they had received a direction from the State government on Thursday evening to release water for Tamil Nadu from the reservoir.

“We are releasing water at the rate of 15,145 cusecs from the reservoir including for irrigation purposes in the district. The State government has given a direction to release at least 10,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu. The outflow may rise to 20,000 cusecs from Sunday morning,” an officer told The Hindu here on Saturday.

On Thursday night, police arrested 20 farmers when they tried to barge into the restricted area of the reservoir. Tension prevailed for nearly an hour near the main entrance of the reservoir as around 200 farmers, led by Mandya Zilla Raitha Hitharakshana Samiti (MZRHS) leader K.S. Nanjunde Gowda and others, attempted to lay siege to the reservoir demanding that the State government immediately stop sharing water with the neighbouring state.

The protestors raised slogans against Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, Water Resources Minister Basavaraja Bommai and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

The angry protestors overpowered the small police picket, threw the barricades and reached the entrance of the reservoir. However, District Armed Reserve (DAR) police and civil police personnel arrested the farmers and removed them from the spot in police vehicles.

Traffic on the Bangalore-Mysore Highway was hit again on Friday as farmers staged demonstrations at different places between Srirangapatna and Maddur. Hundreds of farmers on bullock carts blocked the highway at Gejjalagere and demanded that the government immediately stop water to Tamil Nadu.

Meanwhile, Samiti president and former MP G. Madegowda told press persons on Friday that the farmers would lay siege to the reservoir on Saturday.