The dry riverbed of Shimsha river, one of the Cauvery’s biggest tributaries, has witnessed water flow after three long, dry years on Wednesday, thanks to copious rainfall in its catchment areas.

The river had completely dried up owing to illegal sand extraction and lack of rain. The Shimsha, which originates from the southern part of the Devarayanadurga hill in Tumkur district, is the lone source of livelihood for thousands of families in Maddur taluk.

The river’s catchment areas have received good rainfall since the past 48 hours.

The riverbed was completely dried up till Tuesday evening. On Wednesday morning, the residents of Maddur woke up to see their river in all of its glory.

A good number of residents gathered near the Shimsha river bridge off the Bangalore-Mysore Highway, near Adigas Hotel, when this reporter visited the spot on Wednesday morning. “We are thrilled to see the water flow after three years,” Nagaraju of Somanahalli told The Hindu.

The water-level in the river had drastically declined in 2007 due to illegal sand extraction from the riverbed, and stopped completely in 2010. An engineer of the Public Works Department, on condition of anonymity, told The Hindu that in the following years the Shimsha had very little water in isolated patches.

The officer, who visited the Shimsha on Wednesday, observed that the water-level was two to three feet deep at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. From Devarayanadurga hill, the river flows for about 221 km before joining the Cauvery. According to the officer, water is flowing in 100 km of the river. The Shimsha is the lifeline for hundreds of villages in Nagamangala, Maddur and Malavalli taluks in the district, and feeds water to thousands of hectares in Tumkur, Mandya and Chamarajanagar districts.

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