Andhra Pradesh

Drinking water crisis worsens, storage enough for 15 days

Ominous portent:Water level plummets in summer storage tank I in Ongole.  

The Prakasam district administration has pressed the panic button as the drinking water crisis worsened in the drought-prone district in view of poor storage in the reservoirs across the Krishna in the State.

Water storage in the summer storage tanks in Ongole, as also the notified drinking water tanks elsewhere in the fluoride-hit district, is precariously low with no replenishment from the Nagarjunasagar reservoir.

The State government should impress upon the Krishna River Management Board to release at least four tmcft of water from the Nagarjunasagar reservoir immediately, even if it meant drawing water from the dead storage, say district officials as people would have to go without drinking water after a fortnight in the present situation. The present storage of 1,125.36 million litres would be enough to meet the drinking water requirement only for the next 15 days, say civic officials. In this scenario, the officials have introduced once-in-three-days supply to scrape through till the major reservoirs across the Krishna, including Srisailam, get heavy inflows from the upper riparian states of Karnataka and Maharashtra. While the level in summer storage tank-I in the city is only 706.20 million litres as against its full capacity of 1,950 million litres, it is only 419.16 million litres in summer storage tank-II as against its full capacity of 3,850 million litres.

“We are facing the worst-ever crisis this year,” said municipal engineer Dasari Srinivasa Rao after taking stock of the situation as the district faced drought for the third consecutive year.

“Drawal of water from the Obul Reddy Gundlakamma reservoir as a stop-gap arrangement is ruled out now as the water level in the reservoir has gone down by two metres from the minimum drawdown level,” Mr Srinivasa Rao told The Hindu .

Minister allays fears

Meanwhile, Transport Minister S. Raghava Rao, who held a review meeting with officials of the Irrigation and Rural Drinking Water Supply, said he was in touch with Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and Irrigation Minister D. Umamaheswara Rao. Allaying the fears of people, he said: “We will ensure release of water to the district at the earliest.”

A ray of hope was that the Almatti reservoir in Karnataka registered surplus on Sunday with an inflow of 1,88,632 cusecs, forcing the authorities to discharge a huge 1,01,524 cusecs, official sources said.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 7:42:36 AM |

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