Tamil Nadu

Depleting storage in Mettur dam worries farmers

The dam has been realising less than 1,000 cusecs for the past five days.— File photo  

: With the Karnataka government refusing to release Cauvery water citing poor storage in all its dams despite Supreme Court direction, the depleting water position in Mettur dam has emerged as a matter of serious concern for both the farming community and the official machinery of Tami Nadu.

In the last 10 days since water was released from the Mettur dam on September 20 for commencing farm operations in the delta districts, the water level in the dam has gone down by seven feet (from 87.68 feet to 80.49 feet on Thursday) and the storage level by 10 tmc (from 50.39 tmc to 42.447 tmc).

Usually, about 10 tmc of water is allowed for dead storage and drinking water purpose.

The balance available for farm operations is just 32 tmc as of now.

Assuming that there is no improvement in the realisation of water at the Mettur dam in the near future, the storage with the present discharge of 12,000 cusecs is expected to last only till the third week of October, Public Works Department sources said.

The dam has been realising less than 1,000 cusecs of water for the past five days. The inflow into the dam on Friday was 738 cusecs.

The sources said that the Mettur dam should have realised water to the tune of 120.666 tmc from June 1 till the third week of September. But, it so far has realised only about 50 tmc, owing to the failure of monsoon in the catchment areas of the river.

Usually, water is released from July 12 to January 28 for raising paddy under the kuruvai and samba seasons every year.

The Tamil Nadu government ordered the release of water from Mettur dam after a delay of more than three months, when its level had reached 87 feet, pinning hopes on the Supreme Court and also on the setting of the monsoon. The hopes of the Tamil Nadu government and the farmers were dashed with the Karnataka government closing down the sluices of both Krishnagaraja Sagar and Kabini reservoirs in mid-September, citing non-availability of water even for drinking purpose.

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