With the inflow crossing 1.06 lakh cubic feet per second on Monday evening, the water level at the Mettur dam was inching closer to the 100-ft mark, as against the Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of 120 ft.
The realisation of Cauvery water at the Mettur dam, which stood at 45,316 cusecs on Sunday morning, rose to 1,06,595 cusecs by the evening. The water level stood at 90.60 ft as on Monday evening. The storage level was a little over 51 tmc (thousand million cubic feet), as against the dam’s full capacity of 93.47 tmc.
“Going by the present rate of inflow, the storage level in the Mettur dam will touch the 100-ft mark soon,” sources in the Public Works Department (PWD) told The Hindu .
This will be the first time in the last four years that the dam’s storage level has crossed the 100-ft mark. Previously, the Stanley Reservoir registered the 100-ft mark on August 8, 2014.
Previously, the dam reached FRL on August 5, 2013, when the inflow was as high as 1.78 lakh cusecs. Prior to this, the dam had reached FRL on December 2, 2010.
The entire official machinery has been kept on high alert, as the inflow into the Mettur dam continues to rise, following constant, heavy discharge of water from the Kabini and Krishnaraja Sagar reservoirs in neighbouring Karnataka.
The district administration in Salem has already issued a flood warning to people residing in low-level areas in the villages situated along the banks of the Cauvery river downstream of Biligundlu — the entry point into Tamil Nadu — up to Mettur.
The officials have directed the people and the fishermen of Adipalar, Settipatti, Pannavadi, Moolakkadu, Thinnapatti, Sinnamedu and other places situated near Mettur to move to higher ground. The inland fishermen have been warned against venturing into the sea.
In Dharmapuri, Cauvery water coursed its way into Hogenakkal, with an inflow of 1,05,000 cusecs on Monday, resulting in the popular tourist destination being completely cordoned off from the public.
The inflow, which was 85,000 cusecs on Monday morning, rose to 1,05,000 cusecs in the evening. In its wake, the five waterfalls of Hogenakkal could be seen gushing with water. As the water level rose, the pathway leading up to the view point in Hogenakkal became flooded.
With Karnataka releasing over one lakh cusecs from the Kabini and Krishnaraja Sagar reservoirs, thanks to heavy rain in the Cauvery catchment areas, the inflow into the Biligundlu reservoir in Krishnagiri has recorded a steady rise since Sunday.
Coracle operations have remained suspended for the past 8 days, and are expected to resume only after a marked fall in inflow.