Reservoirs parched as rains fail

Reservoirs parched as rains fail

Old Mysore

The four major reservoirs of this region-Krishnaraja Sagar, Hemavathi, Harangi and Kabini are almost dry due to failure of rains this year. The inflow into these four reservoirs has been negligible due to lack of rains in the catchment areas since June 2009.

The current year’s situation is similar to the one between 2001 and 2003 when the State witnessed severe drought. The water in these reservoirs is just enough for drinking purposes only for the next few weeks following which citizens would have to face scarcity of drinking water.

The situation is quite serious as far as agriculture scenario is concerned. Non-release of water for agricultural activities will put the whole state into utter chaos. Farmers are gazing skywards hoping for rains at least now so that they could grow whatever crops possible instead of keeping their fields idle.

The 75-year-old Sri Krishnaraja Sagar Reservoir is the lifeline of both Mysore and Mandya district and a source of irrigation for thousands of acres of land and also a source of drinking water. Every year, by this time, the dam should have had sufficient quantity of inflow of water. But this year, the rains are playing truant in Kodagu district-the catchment area of this reservoir. Madikeri and Bhagamandala that were supposed to record get continuous rains by this time, have hardly received any rains. Unless there is heavy to very heavy showers in Kodagu district, there is no hope of KRS reservoir getting good inflow of water.

Hemavathi Reservoir of Hassan district is the main source of drinking water for the people of Hassan, Tumkur, Mandya, Bangalore Rural and Mysore districts.  The total command area of this reservoir is around 7 lakh acres and out of which sowing is supposed to take place on 4 lakh acres in the next 15 days. The catchment areas for this dam are Chikmagalur and Hassan districts. Unfortunately, there has been a shortfall of 73 per cent in the last one month.

Kabini Reservoir receives water if there are plenty of rains in Wayanad and surrounding areas of Kerala. But this year, there have been hardly any rains in Kerala too. It takes care of drinking water needs of Nanjangud and other taluks in Mysore district.

In June Harangi dam in Kodagu district recorded 69.8 mm of rains as against 119 mm of rains during the corresponding period of last year. Farmers have grown ginger, maize, paddy and tobacco and it should rain for the protection of those crops.

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