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Survey on silt in TB dam over, but no sign of desilting

Hosapete (Ballari dist), DH News Service, May 10 2017, 1:33 IST
Surveywork was undertaken recently to quantify the amount of silt in the Tungabhadra dam. DH PHOTO

Surveywork was undertaken recently to quantify the amount of silt in the Tungabhadra dam. DH PHOTO

A survey to ascertain the amount of silt in the Tungabhadra dam has drawn to a close. The report is expected to reach the Tungabhadra Board within a month.

The 60-day work was undertaken by R V Associates of Mumbai. It is done when the dam is full of water and also when the water level hits the bottom, like at present.

Engineers say 0.5 tmc feet of silt gets collected in the dam every year, thereby reducing the water storage. Of the total capacity of 133 tmc feet in the dam, 33 tmc feet is silt, the survey showed. There were charges that the dam water was not being apportioned equally between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh due to the silt.

But there seems to be not much enthusiasm on the part of the government to desilt the reservoir. Minister for Water Resources M B Patil said the desilting work would require thousands of crores of rupees. Instead, there was a plan to construct a balancing reservoir to store the additional water.

D Rangareddy, secretary of the Tungabhadra Dam Administrative Board, said they would convey to the governments of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh the contents of the report. Based on the decision taken together by them, the Board would act, he said.

J Karthik, the Ballari district president of Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene, said the two governments were not serious on the issue of desiltation. He said actual desilting was more important than the survey. By the time the report is submitted, there will be rains and water inflow to the reservoir. It will be impossible to undertake desiltation then, Karthik said.

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