The hopes of the farmers of a dozen delta districts have got brightened with the heavy flow of water into Stanely Reservoir at Mettur for the fourth consecutive day on Friday, following the copious discharge from the Kabini and Krishnaraja Sagar reservoirs in Karnataka.
The reservoir was getting a whopping inflow of 42,282 cusecs on Friday evening, as the storage level in dam rose to 76.62 ft against its full level of 120 ft.
This was the first time that the inflow has crossed 40,000 cusecs in the last two seasons, according to Public Works Department sources. Due to continuous heavy inflow, the storage level rose by about four ft in the last 24 hours till Friday evening. About 1,000 cusecs of water was being discharged from the dam for meeting the drinking water needs in the Cauvery basin.
The PWD officials are hopeful of continuation of the heavy inflow into the reservoir for more days, leading to rise in the water level in Mettur Dam to 90 ft by next weekend. The water level in the dam stood at 23 ft on July 13, last year.
The State government had always opened the sluices of Mettur Dam for commencing farm operations in the delta districts when the storage level reached 90 ft mark.
During last year, the dam was opened for farm operations on October 2, after a delay of more than three-and-a-half months from the customary date of June 12, when the level had just crossed 90 ft mark.
“The government is not prepared to take a hasty decision in releasing water this season. It is waiting for a comfortable level in the dam for opening the sluices so that the delta farmers get water for the whole season,” official sources told The Hindu .
Following the increase in the storage level, the historical monument of Nandi statue has totally submerged in the water.
Motor boats and coracles were operated to cross the river from Pannavadi and Kottaiyur, near Mettur, to Nagamarai and Ottanur villages respectively in Dharmapuri district. The operation of the boat services has been suspended since Thursday evening, following the heavy flow in the river.
Staff Reporter adds from Dharmapuri: Biligudulu reservoir recorded 48,000 cusecs of water on Friday evening leading to the continuation of the flood alert sounded in Hogenakkal since the beginning of this week.
The inflow into Hogenakkal was 45,000 cusecs on Friday morning. The water inflow increased steadily reaching 48,000 cusecs in the evening. In its wake, the week-long ban on coracle rides and tourists entry to the river and the falls remained in place.