Chennai

Inflows expected, sluice gates of Poondi reservoir opened

Copious inflow: The reservoir has been receiving good inflow from the Ammapalli dam in Andhra Pradesh.   | Photo Credit: K_Pichumani

The sluice gates of the Poondi reservoir, a major waterbody contributing to the city’s water supply, were opened on Friday evening in anticipation of inflows from the upper reaches of Kosasthalaiyar river.

This is the second reservoir storing drinking water for the city that opened its floodgates after nearly five years.

After lifting the shutters of the Chembarambakkam reservoir on Wednesday, the Water Resources Department (WRD) released about 1,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs) at 5.30 p.m. as the flow into the Poondi reservoir rose steadily.

Besides floodwater from its catchments in Kosasthalaiyar river and the Kesavaram anicut, the reservoir is receiving flows from the Ammapalli dam in Andhra Pradesh through Nagari river.

An official of the WRD said, “We are continuing to receive 450 cusecs of Krishna water in the Poondi reservoir. Another 9,800 cusecs of rainwater is flowing in. The storage is 2,580 million cubic feet. But the remaining 500 mcft may build up quickly. So, we released water to maintain the level at 34 feet.”

The discharge may be stepped up to 5,000 cusecs, depending on the increase in inflow.

The WRD is also diverting a small amount of Krishna water to the Kannankottai Thervoy Kandigai reservoir, which was inaugurated earlier this month. About 340 cusecs was diverted to the Cholavaram reservoir through a check-dam at Tamaraipakkam, downstream of the Poondi reservoir. “We want to maintain some space in the reservoirs for the next spell of rain in December. So, we are releasing water in a controlled manner,” the official said.

A flood warning was issued to those living along the banks of the Kosasthalaiyar, including those in villages such as Thirukandalam and Sothupakkam. For the third day, the shutters of the Chembarambakkam reservoir were opened to let out 1,000 cusecs into the Adyar. Officials noted that the discharge would be stopped when the inflow from the waterbodies upstream reduces.

The Kancheepuram district administration issued flood alerts to 36 villages along the Palar, which was expected to carry 40,000 cusecs. WRD officials noted that the river was wide enough to carry nearly 1 lakh cusecs in the tail end, and the alerts were issued as a precautionary measure.

Surplus water was also being released from Madurantakam lake, which has a capacity of 694 mcft, and Thenneri, which has a capacity of 1,106 mcft. These waterbodies filled up during the heavy rain this week.

Surplus water reached the Palar through Neenjal Maduvu, a floodwater regulator, and residents were asked not to visit the regulator.

Alerts were being issued to prevent residents from treating the waterways as tourist spots, leading to accidents, officials said.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 1:14:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/inflows-expected-sluice-gates-of-poondi-reservoir-opened/article33197102.ece

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