Storage level in dams near full

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GOOD FLOW: Water level in the Papanasam dam in Tirunelveli district is just two feet short of its maximum capacity of 143 feet.
GOOD FLOW: Water level in the Papanasam dam in Tirunelveli district is just two feet short of its maximum capacity of 143 feet.

P. Sudhakar

TIRUNELVELI: Water managers and farmers are the happiest lot in the district now as storage level in the Papanasam and Servalar dams is about to reach the maximum capacity. Water level in the Manimuthar dam, largest reservoir of the district, is gradually increasing.

Though the plains of the district did not experience any rainowing to the recent cyclone in the Bay of Bengal, the catchment areas of the Papanasam, Manimuthar and Servalar dams in the Western Ghats registered significant precipitation during the past few days.

Even as level in the Papanasam dam, having the capacity of 5,500 million cubic feet, reached 140.40 feet against its maximum storage level of 143 feet at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, the level in the comparatively small Servalar dam (1,225 mcft.) stood at 149.87 feet (156 feet). Water level in the Papanasam dam rose to 141.25 feet at 6 p.m.

Storage level in the Manimuthar dam, having the maximum capacity of 5,511 mcft., has just crossed 101.60 feet (118 feet).

“Since the Papanasam dam is receiving a significant inflow of 2,406 cusecs, thanks to the rainfall of 32 mm in the catchment areas, it may reach its full capacity on Tuesday night. However, we pray for more rain in the catchment areas of the Manimuthar dam as inflow here is only 1,651 cusecs,” said a PWD official.

Collector G. Prakash told The Hindu that the situation was being closely monitored round the clock and there was no cause to panic as 1,000 cusecs was being consistently discharged from the Papanasam dam.

“To store water in the dams till the end of ongoing ‘pisanam’ paddy season, we’ve to prudently manage this situation and hence, we cannot open the surplus gates unless inflow increases phenomenally,” he noted.

Since other comparatively smaller reservoirs such as Gadana, Ramanadhi, Karuppanadhi, Gundar and Adavinainar dams and the 2,000-odd systemised and rain-fed irrigation tanks are also now having a sizable storage, the ‘pisanam’ paddy season will be a sure success, Agricultural officials predict.

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