Mettur Dam opened for irrigation

Water from the Mettur dam, the lifeline of delta farmers, was released today for irrigation.

Samba (long-term) paddy crop to be raised in about 16 lakh acres in 12 districts would be irrigated by this water, a PWD official said.

District Collector, V Sampath, raised the shutter gates of the dam, enabling the water to flow out.

The outflow was 5000 cusecs. It would be increased to 13,000 cusecs before tomorrow morning, Sampath said.

PWD Chief Engineer (Cauvery Delta) S Asokan, who earlier inspected the dam along with other officials, told PTI that the state had received 39.925 tmc of Cauvery water from Karnataka during June-August as against the stipulated 58.216 tmc, leaving a deficit of 18.291 tmc.

He said the water release for irrigation would be gradually stepped up to reach 20,000 cusecs. Water would be released till January 28.

The water release would also help in generation of about 440 mw of hydel power -- Old Power House (60 MW), Tunnel Power House (240 MW) and six barrages (180 MW), Asokan added.

Water level in the dam this morning stood at 96.51 feet as against the maximum of 120 feet. Inflow into the dam was 2,683 cusecs.

The water release for irrigation, traditionally done on June 12, had been delayed due to poor storage. Last year, water was released on August 10.

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