Monsoon: Good start no reason to rejoice

Farmers oppose release of water from KRS and Kabini to Tamil Nadu

Monsoon: Good start no reason to rejoice

A good beginning to the monsoon has raised hopes among farmers in the district. The water level in Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) reservoir has touched 83 feet from 63 feet in about 20 days. But, farmers are worried as water is being let to Tamil Nadu to meet the quota of 10 TMC feet of June.

Even though the pressure on the KRS Dam has decreased, as the outflow from Kabini reservoir (towards Tamil Nadu) is presently around 20,000 cusecs, farmers allege that the authorities concerned were releasing water from KRS Dam. They demand that water be let into canals also, if it can be released to Tamil Nadu.

The water storage in KRS Dam at present is 11.18 TMC feet, but water available for irrigation purpose is just 2.79 TMC feet as 4.49 TMC feet is dead storage and 3.90 TMC feet has been reserved for domestic needs.

The total water needs from KRS Dam for irrigation is 130 TMC feet — 65 for monsoon and 65 for post-monsoon. So, the available water now is just a fraction of the demand. When the total available water is just 7.2 TMC feet, how can we release 10 TMC feet of water to Tamil Nadu to match the quota, question farmers.

Due to drought last year, sugarcane crop on 30,000 hectares and paddy on 40,000 hectares was lost. Now, the farmers are pinning hopes on predictions that the rainfall this monsoon would match annual average.  Inflow of water into Harangi and Hemavathy reservoirs have also increased and the water level compared with last year on the corresponding date is satisfactory.

Another cause for worry among farmers is the delay in completion of modernisation of canals that originate from KRS Dam, taken up at an estimated cost of Rs 350 crore.

The works were scheduled to begin in January and complete by the end of June.

 Due to delay in issuing tenders, the works started in March, so the canals would not be ready to take water at least till July end.

On Tuesday the water level at Kabini stood at 2280 ft, at Hemavathy the levels wer 2828.50, and at Harangi it was 2834.95 ft.

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