Raichur: Traffic between Raichur and Mantralayam as well as other cities and towns in Andhra Pradesh was cut off once again when a portion of a temporary low-level earthen bridge across the Tungabhadra was damaged on Sunday. About 10 m of the bridge was washed away following the release of water from the Tungabhadra Dam.
For the last one week, water has been released into the river, even as inflow into the reservoir has stood below 8,000 cusecs. The release of water from the dam was unexpected as there was no such demand from either Karnataka or Andhra Pradesh, sources said.
Upon inquiry, sources from the reservoir monitoring cell at the Tungabhadra Dam Tower, Munirabad, told The Hindu on Monday that about 2,109 cusecs of water from the reservoir was being released even as the reservoir level stood at 1,575.9 ft as against its full level of 1,633 ft, with an inflow of 7,730 cusecs as on Monday. It was suggested that the water was being released to meet the drinking water demand of people along the river, in Andhra Pradesh. However, the sources refused to clarify on whose orders the release was being made.
When asked about the sudden release of water, Raichur Deputy Commissioner V. Anbukkumar said he was not aware of the reasons for doing so. The district administration had not instructed anyone in this matter, as there were no complaints of drinking water shortage in the villages by the riverside, he said. He would follow up on the matter with authorities concerned, he said.
Meanwhile, the proposed construction of a new bridge across the Tungabhadra to restore traffic between Raichur and Mantralayam of Andhra Pradesh on a permanent basis was kept pending, as no contractors have come forward to respond to the tenders called by the Public Works Department here.
It is likely that the work on the proposed new bridge will not be commenced till the end of this monsoon.
The traffic on the district highway was suspended October last, when the bridge across the Tungabhadra was washed away in flash floods. Vehicular movement between Raichur, Bangalore (via Ananthapur) and Bellary (via Adoni) had also been affected for about six months. Traffic on this stretch had been restored on April 9 with the construction of the low-level earthen bridge at a cost of Rs. 1.6 crore.