Maharashtra steps up release of water from the Ujjini and Veerbhatkal dams
Standing crops destroyed in seven taluks of Gulbarga district Situation on the banks of the Krishna continues to be grim Many villages on the banks of the tributaries of the Krishna remain cut off
GULBARGA: Floods for the past six days have wreaked havoc in Gulbarga district. Standing crops on thousands of hectares of land have been destroyed in seven taluks.
While most areas of the district are facing a drought-like situation, farmers living in villages on the banks of the Krishna and the Bhima have suffered extensive losses because of floods.
According to rough estimates prepared by the district administration, crops on 1.20 lakh hectares of the 6.60 lakh hectares of land under cultivation have been affected owing to poor rainfall. This figure excludes withering of the red gram crop grown on three lakh hectares. The worst hit are green gram, black gram, sunflower, bajra and sesamamum crops.
If the situation in rain-fed areas is serious, it is worst in irrigated areas, particularly in the command areas of the Krishna and the Bhima. Farmers living on the banks of these rivers have suffered heavy losses owing to floods. Crops such as sugarcane, banana, cotton, paddy, and chilli have been affected.
After a brief let up, the authorities in Maharashtra stepped up release of water from the Ujjini and Veerbhatkal dams on Sunday. With this, the flood situation in the villages in Afzalpur, Gulbarga, Jewargi, Chitapur, Yadgir and Shahapur taluks is unlikely to improve.
Deputy Commissioner Pankajkumar Pandey said the release of water from the Ujjini and Veerbhatkal dams in Maharashtra, which had been reduced to less than 39,000 cusecs on Saturday, had been increased to 1.72 lakh cusecs on Sunday following heavy rain in the catchment of areas. While 1.20 lakh cusecs of water was being released from the Ujjini dam, 52,425 cusecs of water was being released from the Veerbhatkal dam. Mr. Pandey said the impact of the increased quantity of water release from Maharashtra would be felt in the villages on the banks of the Bhima only after 70 hours. The water level in the Bhima came down considerably on Sunday. At the Devangoan bridge near Sonna village in Afzalpur taluk, water was flowing at a height of 399 metres. The danger level was 405 metres. Floods had started receding in almost all villages in Afzalpur taluk.
Mr. Pandey said he was in touch with the Maharashtra authorities on the rain situation in that State, particularly in the catchment areas of the Bhima. The authorities had promised the Gulbarga district administration that they would maintain water release in both reservoirs at 1.60 lakh cusecs to 1.80 lakh cusecs constantly to ensure that the flood situation did not worsen in the State.
Meanwhile, water release from the Narayanpur dam in Surpur taluk has been reduced to 3.40 lakh cusecs as against 3.52 lakh cusecs on Saturday.
The situation in the villages downstream of the Krishna was grim. Many villages on the banks of the tributaries and streams of the Krishna remained cut off owing to floods. The district administration is concentrating on rescue and relief operations in the affected villages.
Bijapur Staff Correspondent reports:
There was no let-up in the flood situation along the Krishna, though it receded in the Bhima on Sunday.
The level in the Bhima came down to 2.5 metres at the Takli gauging point. It was 11 metres till Friday morning.
As there was no fall in the inflow into the Alamatti dam, heavy discharge continued for the fourth consecutive day on Sunday. While the inflow was 3,31,942 cusecs, the outflow was 3,47,890 cusecs. There was a slight fall in the reservoir level that stood at 517.03 metres as against Saturday's level of 517.16 metres. The full reservoir level is 519.6 metres.