Tamil Nadu

Palaniswami to open sluice gates of Mettur dam today

In full flow: Water gushing beneath a hanging bridge that offers a ringside view of the Hogenakkal falls. N. Bashkaran

In full flow: Water gushing beneath a hanging bridge that offers a ringside view of the Hogenakkal falls. N. Bashkaran

In view of the heavy rain in the catchment area of the Cauvery basin, the Tamil Nadu government is set to open the gates of the Mettur dam for irrigation on August 13. Presently, the dam holds 62 tmc ft of water.

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami will open the sluice gates of the dam. The storage at the dam was nearing 90 feet and the inflow was 2.40 lakh cusecs, he said in a statement on Monday.

The release of water from the Mettur dam was expected to replenish 700 waterbodies along the Cauvery and the basin areas and irrigate farmland in these areas, the CM said. Besides facilitating irrigation, it would improve the groundwater level in the region and could be used to meet drinking water needs, he added.

At 8 p.m. on Monday, the water level at the dam was 92.5 ft against a total scale of 120 ft. The stored capacity of water at the dam was 55,514 mcft against an effective capacity of 93,470 mcft. The inflow into the dam was 2,40,000 cusecs and the outflow was maintained at 1,000 cusecs. According to officials, the inflow at Biligundlu was 2,45,000 cusecs of water.

Revenue officials said various arrangements had been made in the downstream areas and alerts issued to the people to move to safer places. Two relief camps had been readied.

In Namakkal, revenue officials said villages that had been inundated in the past in areas like Komarapalayam, Thiruchengode and Paramathi Vellur were identified and villagers warned about the release of water from the dam. The warning was issued to the public through Village Administrative Officers.

The public have been urged to cooperate with the officials if they are required to shift to relief camps. Inter-departmental teams have been formed in villages that were affected during earlier instances of water release.

The dam’s shutters weren’t opened on the customary date of June 12 for Samba cultivation this year since the water level at the dam was below 50 ft at the time. For eight consecutive years, the dam’s shutters weren’t raised on the customary date, and this is the second time the Chief Minister will be opening the shutters of the dam. Over 16 lakh acres of agricultural land in the delta region would benefit when the shutters are raised on Tuesday.

Inflow at Hogenakkal

Hogenakkal ceased to be a waterfall on Monday, as a roaring Cauvery plateaued out the rock-faced gorge of the tourist destination and brought in around 3 lakh cusecs of water.

The Cauvery raged on for the second consecutive day, inundating all land forms that fell along the fringes of its ordinary course, even as Karnataka continued to release water from its reservoirs.

The famous tourist destination had remained locked down since Friday, pre-empting floods after Karnataka started releasing water from the Kabini and Krishna Raja Sagar reservoirs.

Hogenakkal’s five main falls — the key attraction — was submerged and plateaued out by the river in spate that coursed through, bearing copious quantities of water. A 159-feet-high iron suspension bridge that gave tourists a ringside view of the main falls was also submerged.

The tourist destination’s walkways leading up to the bathing area overlooking the falls, which had worn a deserted look over the last three days, were taken over by the river.

Before the water levels began rising, the district administrations of Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri evacuated the residents of villages along the Cauvery in Biligundlu in Krishnagiri and Hogenakkal in Dharmapuri during the weekend. On Monday, these villages were inundated and many dwelling units destroyed by the river.

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Printable version | May 28, 2022 7:11:55 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/palaniswami-to-open-sluice-gates-of-mettur-dam-today/article29036686.ece