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Prospect of opening Mettur dam for samba cultivation brightens

S.P. Saravanan
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Water level in the reservoir is just eight feet away from reaching 90 feet

The water release from Mettur Dam will benefit 4.7 lakh hectares in Delta region.— PHOTO: E. LAKSHMI NARAYANAN
The water release from Mettur Dam will benefit 4.7 lakh hectares in Delta region.— PHOTO: E. LAKSHMI NARAYANAN

The prospect of opening the Mettur Dam for samba cultivation brightens as the water level is just eight feet away from reaching 90 feet. The current level on Wednesday is 82.39 feet.

Though the inflow continues to recede from 27,363 cusecs on Tuesday to 19,075 cusecs on Wednesday, PWD officials are hopeful that the level would increase gradually once water is released from Krishna Raja Sagar dam in Karnataka.

“The reservoirs in the neighbouring State are nearing full capacity and the excess water will be discharged immediately. We are closely monitoring the situation,” senior engineers told The Hindu .

T. Baintamil Selvan, Chief Engineer, Tiruchi Region, Water Resources Department, along with engineers, recently inspected the dam, including the 16-channel sluice gate, which discharges surplus water in the dam.

During the same day last year, the level stood at 75.15 feet as the dam was opened for samba cultivation on September 17, 2012. If the current inflow level is maintained for another week, the dam could reach the mandatory 90 feet. The water release would benefit 4.7 lakh hectares in the Delta region.

It is customary to release water for irrigation on June 12 every year, but Karnataka’s refusal to release water in time and poor rain in catchment areas aided by poor monsoon delayed the opening of the dam. On Wednesday, the storage was 43.08 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) as against its full storage of 93.47 tmcft. Currently 3,800 cusecs of water is released for drinking water purpose.


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