Today's Paper

Water-level at KRS dips to 82.8 feet

Brace up for water scarcity in the days ahead as the water-level in the Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) , the main drinking water source to Mysore, Bangalore and other cities, is drying up.

The water-level in the dam was 82.8 feet on Tuesday against the full reservoir level (FRL) of 124.8 ft. It was 118.35 feet during the corresponding period last year.

The emerging predicament is reminiscent of the summers of 2000 and 2001 when the water crisis was acute owing to drought. Clashes broke out in Mysore over erratic water supply while farmers, desperate to save their standing crops, laid siege to Hongalli pumping station in Srirangapatana and switched off the pumps to stop drinking water supply to the city.

With the depleting water-levels at the KRS ,the Irrigation Department and the Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd. (CNNL) stopped discharging water to canals on Tuesday morning. This was confirmed by Vijay Kumar, Chief Engineer of CNNL.

“We have restricted the outflow of water from the reservoir to 375 cusecs,” an official said. “Three months ago, the department had hinted to the farmers about stopping water to canals from January.”

The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) has decided to stage a protest against the decision. “The farmers will lose at least 60 per cent of crops due to the anti-farmer decision. The government should sanction compensation for the crop loss, besides providing interest-free loans to farmers,” KRRS leader Shambhuna Halli Suresh said.

Concern

The Association of Concerned and Informed Citizens of Mysore (ACICM) has drawn the attention of the Chief Minister and the government to the situation and has called for initiating steps to tackle the crisis, failing which the situation could become desperate for the people in the State.

M. Lakshman, convener of the ACICM, said water could be drawn from the reservoir up to a depth 60 ft, but pumping water below this level would be difficult as it is dead storage level. “The quantity of water available from 82.8 ft to 60 ft-level is only 8.379 tmcft,” said Mr. Lakshman.

The net outflow, after deducting the inflow was at 3,440 cusecs and if the water continued to be discharged from the reservoir at this rate, it could last about 28 days.

Citing irrigation department sources, Mr. Lakshman pointed out that discharge from the reservoirs to meet the drinking water requirements of Bangalore (1,600 cusecs), Mysore (200 cusecs) Mandya and surrounding places (250 cusecs), Ramanagaram and surrounding places (500 cusecs) and others (300 cusecs) would amount to about 2,850 cusecs. But with depleting water-levels, it would be impossible to maintain the discharge, and drinking water supply was bound to be affected.

Meanwhile, the reservoir levels of Kabini in H.D. Kote was 2,256.4 ft against the FRL of 2,284 ft. The inflow was at the rate of 172 cusecs and the outflow at 50 cusecs. The situation at the Harangi is similar. Against the FRL of 2,858 ft, the water-level as on Tuesday was 2,872.68 ft, with both the dams having reached the dead storage levels.



Discharge of water to canals has been stopped

Water-levels at the Kabini and the Harangi are also low