Water release from Linganamakki dam draws backlash

Water release from Linganamakki dam to infuse life into Jog Falls draws backlash

It (release of water) was done to make Jog Falls more attractive for the Governor

Thaawarchand Gehlot visiting Jog Falls in Sagar taluk. Credit: DH Photo

The Karnataka Power Corporation Limited’s (KPCL) on Thursday released around 500 cusecs of water from Linganamakki dam through radial gates, without alerting people residing in the command areas, in the wake of Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot’s visit to Jog Falls in Sagar taluk. The decision has drawn criticism from various sections of the society.

On Thursday morning, residents of Kargal, Maralukore and Ambugalale villages close to the dam, constructed across the river Sharavathy, were surprised to see water flow downstream as the dam was still short of seven feet to reach its maximum level of 1819 feet.

They soon realised that it (release of water) was done to make Jog Falls more attractive for the Governor.

Jog Falls come alive during the rainy season and tourists from across the state and beyond visit the place to capture the stunning view of four roaring cascades. The falls go dry after the monsoon. The authorities, in a bid to infuse life into the falls in view of Governor Gehlot’s visit, released water from Linganamakki dam.

However, the KPCL officials maintained that water from the dam is used for power generation, not for drinking purposes. The water release had nothing to do with the Governor’s visit, the KPCL officials said. They also claimed that the release of water was not wasted as tourists were able to see the picturesque Jog Falls.  

Deputy Commissioner K B Shivakumar told DH that people who lack knowledge of the dam are making it a big issue. “The release of water from the dam has not caused inconvenience to a single person or disrupted generation of power even for a second. It was part of the maintenance work,” he added.

Sources said, the Governor left the Jog Falls hours before the water released from Linganamakki dam reached the site.

KPCL officials told DH that the release of water coincided with the governor’s visit to Jog Falls. Water was released to clear debris and wooden logs stuck in the dam as they cannot be cleared manually, they said.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox