Staff Reporter

VIJAYAWADA: The water level at Prakasam Barrage returned to the normal level after inflows dropped to 3.97 lakh cusecs at 8 a.m. on Tuesday. The crest gates had to be lowered on four occasions during the day to maintain the level at the statutory 12 feet.

Over 150 tmc feet of floodwater has been discharged from the barrage into the sea till date since the deluge began on August 4, according to N. Benerji, assistant engineer (barrage).

Forty gates were lowered to eight feet at 11 a.m. and the remaining 30 gates were lowered to seven feet at 1 p.m. All 70 gates were brought down to 7 feet after the inflow dropped to 2.87 lakh cusecs by 3 p.m. The gates were further lowered to 6 feet at 7 p.m. when the inflows further fell to 2.53 lakh cusecs. The inflow, which was 4.17 lakh cusecs at 1 a.m., dropped to 3.50 lakh cusecs by 12 noon and to 2.87 lakh cusecs by 3 p.m.

But the releases from Nagarjunasagar and Srisailam during the day indicated that the inflow at the barrage could increase once again in the next 24 hours.

While the release at Nagarjunasagar remained at 2.71 lakh cusecs between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., the discharge from the dam was increased to 3.02 lakh cusecs by 3 p.m. Though there is a slight decrease in the inflows to the Alamatti and Narayanapur reservoirs, the inflows into Jurala, Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar were over the 4-lakh cusecs mark. With just 5 feet left for Nagarjunasagar to reach the full reservoir level of 590 feet, there is very little scope for manoeuvring and almost all the water received will have to be discharged for safety reasons, irrigation officials said.