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Karnataka shuts KRS reservoir sending water flow to Tamil Nadu amidst dispute

Water flow from Krishnarajasagar Reservoir to Tamil Nadu has ceased due to the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu dispute. Over 11 days, 10 tmcf of water was released. Daily release reduced to 7654 cusecs. Reservoir storage dropped from 35.175 to 25.035 tmcft. Outrage followed Congress-led government's decision to release water, leading to protests. Drought impacts agriculture.

Karnataka shuts KRS reservoir sending water flow to Tamil Nadu amidst dispute vkp
First Published Aug 27, 2023, 2:30 PM IST

The water flow from the Krishnarajasagar Reservoir (KRS) to Tamil Nadu has been stopped amidst the dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Over the course of the last 11 days, approximately 10 thousand million cubic feet (tmcf) of water had been released to Tamil Nadu.

The daily release rate of water to Tamil Nadu, which had previously ranged from 13,000 to 15,500 cubic feet per cusecs, has been brought down to 7654 cusecs since Friday morning. Among this, about 5038 cusecs of water are being directed into the Cauvery River. This has led to a decrease from the daily release of 11 thousand cusecs into the river.

Cauvery Dispute: BJP hits the streets of Mandya slamming Karnataka govt decision to release water to Tamil Nad

The Krishnarajasagar Reservoir's water storage status has witnessed a significant change. On August 9, the dam's water storage stood at 35.175 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet). However, by August 25th, this was brought to 25.035 tmcft. 

This decline in water levels is reflected in the reservoir's depth, which is currently at 102.74 feet compared to the earlier level of 113.30 feet. Until now, a total of 10 tmcf feet of water has been released into Tamil Nadu.

The current water release rate of 7654 cusecs is distributed as 5038 cusecs are directed to the river, 2008 cusecs flow into the Vishweswaraiah canal, 100 cusecs each are directed into the RBLL canal and the LBALL canal, and 400 cusecs into the Devaraja Arasu canal. Also, 3276 cusecs of water are flowing back into the reservoir.

Despite facing widespread protests within the district over water diversion to Tamil Nadu, the Congress-led government released the water to Tamil Nadu, from the KRS dam. After this, an all-party meeting was conducted by the government, and the government appealed against TN to the Supreme Court. Also, the government has played safe and escaped from the Court’s contempt by releasing 10 tmcf of water to Tamil Nadu.

Karnataka to release Krishnarajasagara water to Tamil Nadu

The decision to release water to Tamil Nadu sparked outrage among the public, resulting in a protest organized under the leadership of BJP MPs Sumalatha Ambarish and PC Mohan. Various farmer organizations have expressed their discontent with the Congress government's decision, and the District Farmers' Welfare Committee has joined in criticising the water release under the prevailing drought situation in the state. 

The receded water level in the Cauvery River basin has brought a halt to agricultural activities. The government has advised farmers against cultivating water-intensive crops like paddy and sugarcane and suggested they should cultivate dry crops. Farmers in the Achukattu region, who have benefited from ample water for the past four years, now have been suffering from the drought.

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