Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Drying Kabini triggers alarm

Deccan Herald - Drying Kabini triggers alarm
A drastic fall in the water level of Kabini reservoir has forced the government to request far-mers in achkat area to sow ragi and maize instead of water intensive crops like paddy...

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday after a meeting with Cauvery Neeravari Nigam officials, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Shobha Karan-dlaje said the current water storage in the Kabini stood at 3.5 tmc ft this year as against 65.83 tmc ft last year.

“We hope there will be rains in days to come. However, as a precautionary measure, we are requesting the farmers to sow ragi and maize which require less water,” Karandlaje said.

She said the inflow had come down to 1,500 cusecs per days compared to the peak 25,000 cusecs. Moreover, an additional 1.5 tmc ft of water was required fill the 34 lakes in the region.

However, sources in the irrigation department said that the low water levels in Kabini is not likely to have any impact on drinking water supply in Bangalore.

The BWSSB draws water for Bangalore from the Shiva anicut in the Cauvery basin from where it is channelled to Netakal reservoir before being piped to T K Halli for water treatment.

“As Shiva anicut is downstream, water dependence is not just from from Kabini but on two other sources: KRS and Hemavathy. Moreover, drinking water always gets priority over irrigation,” the sources added.

The treated water is transferred to distribution reservoir through clear water pumping stations provided at T K Halli, Harohalli and Tataguni.

According to BWSSB officials, the government has allocated 19 tmc ft of Cauvery water to meet Bangalore’s growing needs. However, presently only 12 tmc ft of water is being utilised.

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