Chennai: Poondi reservoir starts receiving Krishna water

CHENNAI: The Poondi reservoir has started receiving Krishna water, discharged from the Kandaleru reservoir, from Monday evening, officials of the Water Resources Department here said.

According to them, about 200 cubic feet per second (cusecs) was realised at the Poondi reservoir by 6 a.m. on Tuesday. (One cusec of water is equal to 28.3 litres). As the discharge from the Kandaleru reservoir has been stepped up to 1,900 cusecs, the Poondi reservoir is expected to receive about 800 cusecs by Thursday.

“We have asked for the release of water to continue till April for augmenting the city supply,” said an official. This is the second time that Chennai is being supplied with Krishna water in 2009-10. The city had realised 4.1 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) from the Kandaleru reservoir between September and December 2009.

Since 2006, Chennai has been getting around six tmcft of water every year. Uthukottai, the inter-State border of the Kandaleru Poondi canal got 6.9 tmcft of water in 2008-09, which was the highest quantum received since the commissioning of the Krishna Water Supply project a decade ago.

“If we get two or three tmcft during this spell, it will be sufficient to cater to the city’s water needs till the onset of the northeast monsoon,” an official said.

The cumulative storage of the four reservoirs that cater for Chennai — Poondi, Cholavaram, Red Hills and Chembarambakkam — stood at 6.7 tmcft against its capacity of 11 tmcft on Tuesday.


Bangalore: Vision document on irrigation by next week

BANGALORE: A vision statement on the irrigation projects to be taken on a priority basis over the next decade is being brought out by the State Water Resources Department. Also, irrigation projects are being subject to scrutiny on quality parameters.

Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday said that the vision document will be released in about a week.

The Quality Assurance Cell to be specially constituted will comprise experts from Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB).

The estimate of the money required for the pending irrigation projects in the Krishna and Cauvery basis stands at Rs 45,000 crore.

The specific aspects of implementation and the expected expenditure on each of the projects will be detailed in the statement, Bommai said.

On quality assurance the minister said that electronic meters are being used in projects in the Ghataprabha basin.

On an experimental basis, electronic metering is already undertaken on the Ghataprabha main canal and its distributaries, Bommai said and noted that Malaysia is among the countries which has successfully implemented the electronic metering scheme in irrigation projects.

These electronic meters can send: about 120 SMSes per second; details on the quality and availability of water at a various points along the route may be gathered at one go, he explained.

Meanwhile, the minister said that much of the cultivable land in the state will be irrigated by June.

About 1.25 lakh acres were irrigated last year: 55,000 acres in the Upper Tunga belt, 12,000 acres in the Cauvery basin and the rest in Krishna – Godavari belt, he explained.

From Express Buzz

Chennai: Krishna water supply resumes

Inter-State border to realise water today

900 cusecs discharged from Kandaleru reservoir into the canal around 6 p.m.

500 cusecs already being released into canal for Tirupati, Srikalahasti

CHENNAI: After a gap of over a month, Krishna water supply to Chennai resumed on Saturday.

This follows the recent visit by a team of officials from the Water Resources Department to Andhra Pradesh.

Nearly 900 cubic feet per second (cusecs) was discharged from the Kandaleru reservoir into the canal around 6 p.m.

As the canal bed was wet, Uthukottai, the inter-State border in Tamil Nadu, would realise water quicker without much seepage by Sunday. From there, water has to travel another 25 km to reach Poondi reservoir, the storage point.

According to WRD officials, 500 cusecs was already being released into the Kandaleru-Poondi canal for supply to Tirupati and Srikalahasti.

The discharge was stepped up by another 400 cusecs to cater to Chennai’s water needs.

“The authorities concerned in the neighbouring State have assured us that the water release will be increased by 300 cusecs on Sunday,” an official said.

The supply was disrupted in mid-December due to the turmoil over the Telangana issue and maintenance work of canal.

The city had received 4.1 tmcft of Krishna water between September and December last year.

Krishna water supply was much-awaited in the wake of depleting resources at the four city reservoirs in Poondi, Red Hills, Cholavaram and Chembarambakkam. The combined storage of the reservoirs stood at 6,866 million cubic feet (mcft) against their full capacity of 11,057 mcft.

The reservoirs had storage of 9,025 mcft during the same period last year.


Bangalore: Govt plans new irrigation tanks in Krishna basin

BANGALORE: The government proposes to construct at least 500 new minor irrigation tanks in the River Krishna basin, Minister for Minor Irrigation Govind Karjol said on Friday.  

Speaking to reporters, he said that the envisaged number includes tanks and barrages. The department has appealed for a budgetary allocation of Rs 1,000 crore for the same. The total cost estimate is about Rs 4,000 crore, he said.  

Of the Rs 57 crore that was allotted for the purpose in 2009-10, Rs 46 core had been released, he said. Karjol noted that there was no scope for construction of new tanks in the Cauvery basin as the state had exhausted its allocated share.  

Identification of tank bed encroachments and steps to clear them were on across the state and in the jurisdiction of urban local bodies like City Corporations, he said. The department has reiterated its stand that local bodies should take responsibility for its water bodies, Karjol said

From ExpressBuzz

Andrapradesh: 8,000 sq-km submerged in a day

Vijaywada, Oct. 6 — The furious river waters sheared for days through farmland and homes, inundating 20 lakh acres every day – Delhi five times over, or 13 cities the size of Mumbai. The Krishna rushed in from the Almatti dam in Karnataka and submerged 8,000 sq-km of land in a day. It now stands at the gates of the British colonial-era Prakasam Barrage in Andhra Pradesh next door, and a breach here could submerge vast swathes in the state’s rice-rich Krishna and Guntur districts.

The Prakasam barrage is a key passageway for the Krishna, which meanders through Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh on way to the Bay of Bengal. On Tuesday, hundreds jostled here despite restrictions. Nearby, on a hillock, is the Kanaka Durga temple. People here believe that the day the idol is submerged, the entire city of Vijaywada will be washed away. If it does, it would be blamed on tardy cooperation between the two states. Until Saturday night, Andhra Pradesh did not evacuate people from the catchment of the Nagarjunasagar Dam as the Karnataka government assured that no more water would be released from its Srisalam dam. But as floodwaters poured in, gates were opened at Srisalam, worsening the situation.

Flood effect: Krishna river in spate at Prakasam Barrage in Vijayawada on Friday. With flood water crossing three-lakh cusecs mark the authorities lifted 35 gates to a height of eight feet and remaining 35 gates to seven feet. – PHOTO: CH. VIJAYA BHASKAR - From THE HINDU

Flood effect: Krishna river in spate at Prakasam Barrage in Vijayawada on Friday. With flood water crossing three-lakh cusecs mark the authorities lifted 35 gates to a height of eight feet and remaining 35 gates to seven feet. – PHOTO: CH. VIJAYA BHASKAR - From THE HINDU

“There appeared to be a breakdown of communication between the two neighbouring states,” said a senior official of the National Disaster Management Authoritry (NDMA), speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject. But technology might soon make up for government delays. NDMA member NVC Menon said that by 2012, people would be alerted about rising water within minutes of it being tracked by satellites.

Sloth after natural disasters is a annual story in India, a flood prone nation where tackling flooding comes under the states’ domain and New Delhi’s financial assistance since 2007 of Rs 8,000 crore (Rs 80 billion) has shown few results. Then, there is the lack of accountability.

“In the last 60 years, not a single engineer has ever been charged or punished for mismanagement of these dams,” he said.