A day after External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh explaining the plight of farmers in the State, the outflow from the Krishnaraja Sagar, crossed 23,000 cusecs on Saturday.
Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd. (CNNL) officials said they received a direction from the State government on Friday evening to release a huge quantity of water to Tamil Nadu from the reservoir.
According to sources, at least 20 crest gates of the KRS were opened after 9 p.m. on Saturday.
CNNL officials said water was being released from the reservoir at the rate of 23,223 cusecs.
“We are releasing water at the rate of 23,223 cusecs to Tamil Nadu.
“The State government has given a direction. However, the inflow also rose to 12,360 cusecs as water from Harangi reservoir was released,” an officer told The Hindu here on Saturday.
While the quantum of water flowing to Tamil Nadu was at the rate of 23,223 cusecs at 6 a.m. on Saturday, it was reduced to around 12,400 cusecs at 6 p.m.
“The outflow from the Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) was at the rate of 14,214 cusecs at 6 p.m. Of the 14,214 cusecs, around 1,800 cusecs of water was for various canals for irrigation purposes,” sources at the CNNL, who did not wish to be named, told this correspondent . .
As per the measurement at KRS at 6 p.m., the inflow was 13,372 cusecs.
The water-level at the reservoir was 106.30 ft against the FRL of 124.80 feet.
Meanwhile, Mr. Krishna requested the Prime Minister to “explore possibilities of stopping further release of water from dams in Karnataka and also call for an interim report of the team of experts.”
Mr. Krishna, who is abroad on an official visit, wrote the letter on Friday.
“The situation in Karnataka is grim.
“Farmers are worried over the fall in the water-levels in dams and citizens of Bangalore are fearing shortage of drinking water,” Mr. Krishna stated in the letter.
Meanwhile, the sudden increase in the outflow of water to Tamil Nadu triggered protests by farmers in the district.
More than 100 farmers staged “Jal satyagraha” in Cauvery river near Wellesley Bridge in Srirangapatna.
A lorry driver had a narrow escape near Srirangapatna when there was a sudden flood in the Cauvery following release of water from the dam on Friday night.
According to the police, the driver, a resident of Shindabhoganahalli, near Pandavapura, was washing his vehicle when the incident occurred.
Residents of several villages on the banks of the Cauvery in Srirangapatna alleged that CNNL officials did not issue any alert before releasing water from the reservoir.