Yeddyurappa turns to rain god

After the initial spell of rains in the last week of May, the monsoon clouds have vanished. Much of the State did not receive adequate rains last fortnight. As a result, the water level at all major reservoirs has come down considerably.

Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, who reviewed the agriculture situation along with officials and ministers on Tuesday, was told that the situation could turn grim if it did not rain in the next fortnight.

A receding water level means that irrigation would suffer badly and power generation would be hampered. “Low water level in reservoirs is a matter of concern now. I hope the rain god will save us and provide copious rains in coming days,” Yeddyurappa told reporters here.

In the Cauvery river basin for instance, the total water available is around 16 tmcft, against 41 tmcft in June last year. Water level in the basin’s four reservoirs — Harangi, Hemavathy, KRS and Kabini — is far too less compared to last year. The situation is similar in the Krishna basin which has six major reservoirs — Bhadra, Tungabhadra, Ghataprabha, Malaprabha, Almatti and Narayanapura.

According to sources in the Water Resources department, water has to be released for agriculture operations in July from all reservoirs. “If it doesn’t rain in the catchment areas, the department will not be in a position to release water anywhere.

Monitor situation daily, says PM

With the delay in monsoon raising concerns over farm output, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has stepped in and asked officials to monitor the situation closely on a day-to-day basis, reports PTI.

A consequent power shortage will prevent farmers from using their irrigation pump sets,” an official said.

According to available data, the water level in the KR Sagar is 72.22 ft against the full reservoir level of 124.80 ft. Last year, the same day, the level was 103.06 ft. The outflow from the reservoir is just 193 cusecs compared to 581 cusecs last year.

The situation is slightly better in the Kabini reservoir in the Cauvery basin.

The water level there is 2264.58 ft against the FRL of 2284 ft. Last year, the level was 2266.29 ft. The outflow is 106 cusec against 500 cusec last year.

In the case of the Hemavathi reservoir in Hassan district, the present water level is 2867.17 ft against the FRL of 2922 ft. However, last year the water level was 2888.35 ft. But the outflow is 400 cusec against last year’s 150 cusec.

In the Krishna basin, there are six main reservoirs. In the Bhadra reservoir the water level as on Tuesday is 2102.91 ft against the total FRL of 2158 ft. The last year the water level was 2119.08 ft. The outflow from the reservoir is 55 cusec as last year.
In the Tungabhandra reservoir the level is 1586.04 ft against FRL of 1633 ft. Last year the level was 1603.22 ft. The outflow stands at 235 cusec against 250 cusec last year. In the Malaprabha reservoir, the water level is 2035.27 ft against the FRL 2079.95 ft. Last year the level was up by 10 ft. The outflow is 52 cusec as compared to 1064 cusec.
In terms of tmcft (unit to measure volume of water), the accumulated water in the Krishna basin is 71.29 tmcft against last year’s 124.21 tmcft.

‘It could be days for State to get rains’

Director of the Meteorology Department Muttuchami said the State is unlikely to receive rains in the new few days. Monsoon is mainly driven by easterly current. But this year westerly current is more powerful. As a result, it is not raining in the last three weeks. “We have to wait and watch how the condition changes in the next three to four days,” he said.

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