Salem: At a time when weak monsoon and low water level in the Mettur reservoir have threatened to spell doom for the delta districts, the overflowing Kabini Dam in Karnataka has finally offered a ray of hope for farmers in Tamil Nadu. With water being discharged from the Kabini, inflow into Mettur dam was expected to increase over the next couple of days. The Kabini was nearing its full level of 65 ft and 12,000 cusecs were released on Wednesday night, sources with the Mettur PWD said.
As of Thursday, the reservoir continued to overflow and the surplus was being discharged into the parched Cauvery. The water would reach Mettur on Friday night or Saturday morning, officials said. This came as a silver lining for farmers in the delta districts who have been anxiously awaiting the release of water from the Mettur dam. They now hoped for a better irrigation spell for the second crop in the Delta.
With the South West Monsoon playing spoilsport till the first week of this month, Kuruvai cultivation has suffered. During that period, water from Karnataka was 66.40 tmcft short of the Cauvery tribunal’s award. Since June 1, only 3.60 tmcft was realised into the Mettur. Hence, the storage level in the dam proved insufficient to open the reservoir for the first irrigation spell on the customary date of June 12.
The opening of the dam has put on hold till date. Officials said the belated onset of the South West Monsoon has hit Wayanad region of Kerala and Coorg, the prime catchment areas for the dams in Karnataka. The Krishnarajasagar and the Herangi dams were also expected to receive better inflow. On Thursday, the level in Krishnarajasagar stood at 90 ft as against its full capacity of 120 ft. As of 4 pm on Thursday, a level of 73.55 ft was recorded at Mettur. The inflow was 538 cusecs while the outflow was 978 cusecs.