The Srisailam Dam in Andhra Pradesh, which was full up to its brim, saw water spill over and above its gates on Tuesday morning, triggering mild panic among onlookers. However, authorities said that there was nothing to worry about.
Officials overseeing the dam cited a 'wave effect' and said that this was common in such reservoirs which were almost full. Six crest gates of the reservoir were opened on Tuesday, to release water downstream.
There are two major dams on the Krishna River that lie on the Telangana-Andhra border – the Srisailam dam which is upstream in Andhra and the Nagarjuna Sagar dam which is downstream in Telangana.
Srisailam dam's full capacity is 885 feet and its dead storage level is 800 feet. Officials said that owing to inflows from upstream, the water level had crossed 884 feet on Tuesday.
“Farmers Associations and politicians have been demanding not to lift the gates of Srisail-am until the water reaches the 884 feet level. Therefore, we are holding water till it reaches maximum height,” superintending engineer Srinivasula Reddy was quoted as saying.
“We were releasing 2.5 lakh cusecs from the spillway in the morning (on Tuesday), but increased it to 3.5 lakh cusecs by lifting six gates to 23 feet height to bring the water level down to 884.5 feet or 884 feet so that even with the wave effect, water does not spill over the gates, though there was no danger in it,” Reddy told The Hindu.
Authorities urged the public not to believe speculation doing the rounds on social media about the Srisailam reservoir being 'in danger' or being unable to handle the water level.
The areas around the Godavari river basin in Andhra had also witnessed heavy inflows earlier this week, resulting in flash floods.
Earlier in August, heavy rains in the catchment area of the Godavari basin had led to flash floods in East and West Godavari districts, resulting in water rising in the Dowleswaram barrage. The floods had reportedly affected nearly one lakh people in the East and West Godavari districts and officials had stated that 19,000 were evacuated from low-lying areas and shifted to relief camps at the time.