Rumour of Tungabhadra dam breach creates panic among villagers downstream

August 13, 2019 03:19 pm | Updated 03:33 pm IST - BALLARI

Water being released from the Tungabhadra reservoir at Munirabad in Koppal district on Sunday.

Water being released from the Tungabhadra reservoir at Munirabad in Koppal district on Sunday.

A few villages at Gangavathi taluk of Koppal district, the downstream of Tungabhadra Reservoir, were panic-stricken at daybreak on Tuesday after a rumour of a dam breach spread like a wildfire.

People were found running in perplexity, leaving everything behind at Kadebagilu, Anegondi, Chikkarampur, Hanumanahalli and other villages. A few of them who were stronger than the others climbed the nearby hills and hillocks in desperation to take shelter at the top.

A small breach in the Left Bank High Level Canal (LBHLC) caused by the slip of its gate and resultant gushing out of about 250 cusecs water against the canal’s capacity of 50 cusecs and flooding the nearby Pampavana was, in fact, the source for the dam-breach rumour.

Deputy Commissioner P. Sunil Kumar, Superintendent of Police Renuka K. Sukumar and other senior officers who were in the same area overseeing the rescue and relief operations along the riverbank swiftly swung into action. They put the available forces on task to dismiss the rumour. Loudspeakers and traditional drum-announcements were used for the purpose. Relieved by the facts, people returned to their villages.

“On the other hand, we diverted the water gushing out of the breached canal back to the river,” Mr. Sunil Kumar told The Hindu .

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