Responding to complaints of inadequate receipt of water at the tail-end of the Cauvery delta, the State government on Saturday decided that the discharge of water through the Cauvery River and Vennar would be increased to 5,000 cusecs (cubic feet per second) and 10,000 cusecs, respectively.
An order to this effect was issued by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, according to an official release.
Till now, the discharge through the Cauvery and Vennar was about 4,300 cusecs and 9,400 cusecs, respectively. About 3,200 cusecs was being issued through the Grand Anecut canal and 1,900 cusecs through the Lower Coleroon canal.
[As per the turn system, the maximum amount of release of water is being done through the Vennar. From the evening of October 13, the Cauvery River will be covered. This will be alternated between the two for every six days, a senior official says].
One of the reasons for the complaints was that the Cauvery delta districts – Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam – did not receive much rain. During June-September, the three districts were among those which recorded deficient rainfall.
The government also decided to increase the release of water from the Mettur dam by 1,000 cusecs, considering the interests of the farmers. The discharge would be 23,000 cusecs even though the northeast monsoon was yet to set in over the State.
The release of water from the dam began on July 28 for irrigation with 5,000 cusecs. Gradually, it was stepped up to 22,000 cusecs, taking into account the requirements of the farmers.
In view of less rain in the Cauvery catchment of Karnataka during the southwest monsoon, the water level of the Mettur dam did not reach its full level. The maximum level it touched this season was 101 feet. Now, the level stood at 91 feet, the official release added.
On Saturday evening, the dam’s storage was 53.5 thousand million cubic feet. An inflow of 8,200 cusecs was registered.