There has been a steady stream of visitors to the Hemavati reservoir at Gorur in Hassan taluk since July 25, when the crest gates were opened to release water. The number of visitors has gone up with the increase in the quantity of water being released.

Water was being released from the reservoir at the rate of 20,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs) till July 30. However, it has gone up to over 50,000 cusecs since Thursday evening.

G.T. Venkatesh, Executive Engineer of Dam Division (Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd.), said water was released at the rate of around 65,000 cusecs in 2006. “In 1990, the outflow was at the rate of 93,000 cusecs, the highest in the history of the reservoir,” he said. The reservoir attracts visitors whenever water-level reaches the maximum of 2,922 ft. and the crest gates are opened.

Many travelled from neighbouring taluks such as Arsikere, Arkalgud, and Belur. Chethan, a college student from Arsikere, said, “This is a rare sight for us as Arsikere is a drought-hit area.”

The Water Resources Department has been planning to develop the reservoir as a tourist attraction on the lines of the Krishnarajasagar in Mandya district. “Around 280 acres of land are lying vacant in front of the dam. This can be utilised to develop it as a tourist spot. A survey has been conducted, but a final decision is yet to be taken,” Mr. Venkatesh said.

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