Monsoon revival cheers farmers in State

Gain, pain: Half-filled hydel dams dampen hopes on power

As many as 20 districts in the south and the north interior Karnataka have received above normal rainfall between June 1 and August 23, preventing the State from facing harrowing drought situation. Except for the few places in Bellary and Raichur where heavy rain caused damaged to life and properties recently, the rainfall has been by and large normal and beneficial for agriculture.

According to the Department of Agriculture, sowing has been completed in 83 per cent of lands. Against the kharif target of 74.63 lakh hectares, sowing has been completed in 61.58 lakh hectares till August 23. It is expected that at least 95 per cent sowing will be achieved in the coming days with weathermen forecasting good rainfall in the next one week. Officially, August 31 marks the end of kharif sowing season.


However, the power scene continues to look gloomy. None of the three major hydrel reservoirs -- Linganamakki, Varahi and Supa -- has sufficient water. The average water level in these reservoirs is just 50 per cent. These reservoirs together have the capacity to generate 3,900 MW power if filled to the brim. But now they are generating about 40 per cent of their capacity, an official said.

The reservoirs are at less than half capacity because of the failure of monsoon in Malnad and Coastal regions, where rainfall deficit in the season is 18 per cent and 15 per cent respectively. All districts coming under the two regions -- Shimoga, Hassan, Chikmagalur, Kodagu (all Malnad region), Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttra Kannada (all coastal districts ) - have received below normal rainfall.

“Water level in the important reservoirs has been a cause for concern. We hope coastal region will receive good rains in coming days so that water level goes up in these reservoirs,” Karnataka Power Corporation Limited S M Jaamdar said. Water level at the KRS dam also continues to be low because of this reason.

Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre Director V S Prakash said the rainfall that the State has been receiving in the last fortnight is ideal for agriculture operation. “Sowing operation has picked up in many parts. The crop condition too looks good across the State. In fact, it is the best monsoon (south-west) season for the north interior Karnataka region in the last 20 years,” he added.

Koppal, Bagalkot, Gadag, Bellary, Raichur, Bijapur (in north interior Karnataka), Mandya, Chitradurga, Tumkur, Chikkaballapur, Kolar, Chamarajnagar districts (in south interior Karnataka) have received 40 per cent more that the normal rainfall. Mandya district has received the highest of 101 per cent excess rains followed by Chitradurga with excess of 62 per cent.

However, Bangalore urban district coming under south interior Karnataka has received 3 per cent below normal rainfall.  Overall, the State has received 604.5 mm rainfall against the normal of 614.1 mm between June 1 and August 23, which is 2 per cent deficit, Prakash said.



















More rains

According to Meteorological Department Director B Puttanna, many parts of the south interior, the north interior and the coastal Karnataka regions will receive rainfall for another two to three days.

Heavy to very heavy rains are likely in isolated places. The State has been receiving rainfall due to a low pressure area formed in the Bay of Bengal off off coastal Andhra Pradesh. Heavy rains are likely in Bangalore also.

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