Water, power situation in state grim, says Energy minister

Water, power situation in state grim, says Energy minister

Water, power situation in state grim, says Energy minister

Energy Minister D K Shivakumar on Wednesday said the water situation in the state is grim and this would have a negative impact on the power scenario. The Energy department is thus planning medium and long-term measures to tackle the situation.

Shivakumar told reporters in Bengaluru that due to below par rainfall, the dams are only 40% full. To meet demand for power in summer, the government is expecting 209 MW from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. “We are also keeping tender process open to purchase power at Rs 4.36 per unit from various sources,” he said.

The minister said the hydel losses were about 60% and thus dependency on Kudankulam and Yeramarus Thermal Power Station has increased. Three units of Ballari Thermal Power Supply (BTPS) would be affected because of the water crises.

Release of water from the Cauvery basin is worst this year compared to the last 40 years. This year permission has not been given to cultivate sugarcane, paddy and other water intensive crops. “We have to save at least 15 tmc of water till summer to meet Bengaluru's drinking water needs. Farmers require 40 tmc water for 80 days to grow crops. But, the present availability in the Cauvery basin is only 12.68 tmc.

We will release four tmc by the end of August, five tmc by September, two tmc by October, 1.3 tmc by November and a total of 26 tmc by December. Our priority is providing drinking water,” Shivakumar said.

Release of the Cauvery water started from July 30 and will continue till August 30. It will be stopped from August 31 to September 10. Later, based on the assessment report, the future course of action will be decided.

There is a severe shortage of rainfall in the Cauvery catchment areas and the Weather department has forecast that situation will be grim in the coming days, he said.

Referring to stopping of a play by students during the Independence Day celebrations in Mandya, Shivakumar said he has issued a circular to DPI and Education department that students should only use photographs of freedom fighters and martyrs and not of any bureaucrats or officials.

Shivakumar, who is Mandya district incharge minister, said: “Deceased police officials are not martyrs or freedom fighters. So, as a responsible citizen I stopped the staging of the play. A show cause notice was issued to the Zilla Panchayat officials for allowing such a play,” he said.
DH News Service


Plans to tackle drinking water crisis

The deficient rainfall and low water levels in reservoirs in various parts of the state prompted the State Cabinet on Wednesday to direct authorities to prepare contingency plans to tackle the drinking water crisis in the coming months.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Law Minister T B Jayachandra said the state was staring at a drinking water crisis due to the low water levels in reservoirs, particularly in the Cauvery basin.

The water levels (except for the Almatti and the Narayanapura) were much below compared to the levels recorded during the corresponding period last year.

Further, the India Meteorological Department had predicted below normal rainfall in August. The dryspell has compelled the state government to work out contingency plans and long term plans to face the impending situation. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah directed ministers to tours districts to assess the situation. Besides, cabinet sub-committees would be constituted to take up relief work, he said.

He reiterated that water from reservoirs would only be utilised for drinking water purposes.

To a query on whether there would be shortfall in foodgrain target set by the government, Jayachandra said it was too early to make a prediction.

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