Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami on Tuesday oversaw the opening of the sluice gates of the Mettur dam in his home district of Salem. The dam, which receives water from the Cauvery has been witnessing massive inflows thanks to heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of the river in Kodagu, Karnataka. This is the second consecutive year that the Chief Minister has personally overseen the release of water.
The Chief Minister, present along with officials, removed his slippers, prayed and threw flowers into the river.
According to a statement issued by the Chief Minister on Monday, the inflow stood at 2.40 lakh cusecs while the storage was approaching 90 feet. The full reservoir level (FRL) of the dam is 120 feet. Referring to the bountiful southwest monsoon that had brought abundant rainfall, Chief Minister Palaniswami assured that the water would fill up a minimum of 70 tanks and ponds in the delta districts.
According to one report in the Times of India, he said, â€śThe reservoir is filling up fast and rainfall triggered by southwest monsoon remains intensive. Anticipating the inflows from Karnataka reservoirs as well as the requests from the farmers, I ordered release of water from Mettur for paddy cultivation in the Cauvery delta on August 13.â€ť
The released water is set to be a relief to farmers in the region. According to a report in The Hindu, the shutters of the dam ought to have been opened on June 12 for Samba cultivation. However, the water level at the dam was inadequate at below 50 feet. The newspaper also reports that the Chief Minister assured improvement in the regionâ€™s groundwater levels, which would help improve the drinking water situation.
Meanwhile, a flood advisory was issued by the Central Water Commission to downstream areas on Sunday. It warned that there would be substantial release of water from Krishna Raja Sagar Dam and the Kabini Dam. The advisory cautioned, â€śSuitable precautionary steps may be taken and downstream areas informed of the release.â€ť