Mettur dam storage keeps on increasing; outflow for drinking purpose also rising

: Surplus water released from the Kabini and Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) dams in Karnataka crossed 30,000 cusecs at Biligundlu in Krishnagiri district, entry point of the Cauvery water into the State on Friday morning.

Sources in Central Water Commission said the flow would increase further on Friday night, as the discharge from the Karnataka dams increased due to copious rain in their catchments for the past few days.

Consequently, the Dharmapuri district administration sounded a flood alert on Thursday evening in Hogenakkal, Ootamalai and Billigundlu.

Collector R. Lilly appealed to the people living on the banks of the river and low-lying area to move to safer places. Coracle services at Hogenakkal were also banned until further orders.

Tourists have been instructed not to take bath in Hogenakkal Falls.

A team of officials from Revenue, PWD, Police and Forest Departments were being deployed to monitor the situation, she said. Heavy water inflow flooded the pathway to the main falls and hanging bridge. Police and fire service personnel were posted in the area. No one was allowed to enter into the pathway or the Falls since Thursday night.

With the inflow in Mettur Dam continuing to increase, the level in the dam improved by around three feet on Friday. PWD officials said the level in the dam was 19.59 feet against 16.91 feet on Thursday. The inflow, which was 4,351 cusecs on Thursday, rose to 9,523 cusecs. The storage has improved from 3.251 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) to 3.983 tmcft as against the full capacity of 93 tmcft.

The outflow released for drinking water purpose was also increased from 900 cusecs to 1,100 cusecs.

Officials said the inflow continued to rise gradually throughout the day and they were closely monitoring the situation.

Meanwhile, farmers who have planted crops in the catchment areas have started to harvest the half-grown crops owing to the fear of crops getting damaged when water level increases.