It will support KC canal and RDS canal

A friction at RDS anicut across Tungabhadra between the farmers of Kurnool and Mahabubnagar often conjures up the images of fighting with boulders and digging with crow bars. A time has come now for both sides to fight hand in hand for a new reservoir to fulfil their right to draw water from the river.

The KC canal has a right to draw 39.9 tmcft, which include 29.9 tmcft from the river and 10 tmcft from the TB dam at Hospet. Similarly, the RDS is entitled to 17 tmcft, including 7 tmcft from the TB reservoir.

RDS canal is designed to support an ayacut of 35,020 in Karnataka and 87,500 in Mahabubnagar district. Though the canal is entitled to draw 800 cusecs it has never happened in the last 30 years. Moreover, the Karnataka farmers utilised more water than its entitlement cultivating crops in both seasons.

According to a study, both canals were unable to draw the allocated water in the absence of a reservoir. Though water is available in the river in a calendar year, lean season posed a serious problem. There is no major reservoir between TB dam at Hospet and Srisailam dam, which have a distance of 350 km.

Retired engineer Subbarayudu who made a study of the problems of both canals suggested a reservoir at Gundrevula, 50 km upstream of Kurnool with a capacity of 20 tmcft to support both canals. He feels that a reservoir in the river is the best alternative to balancing reservoirs some where in the plains.

According to him, the canals, which were entitled to draw 57 tmcft together, are justified to have a reservoir. The project will cost Rs.1,500 crore, which is viewed reasonable considering the returns of Rs.30 crore for every tmcft of water utilised.

As an immediate step to reduce tensions at RDS anicut, a mechanism was suggested to distribute water in the proportion as per entitlement.

In the present conditions, river sluices for KC canal drew more water when the river flow was below 500 cusecs. On other hand, RDS sluices drew more water when flow crosses 1,000 cusecs.

  • Both canals at present are unable to draw the allocated water

  • There is no major reservoir between TB dam at Hospet and Srisailam dam