ERODE: In a proactive effort to safeguard the standing crops, the state government has initiated a contingency plan to release five tmcft of water from three reservoirs managed by TANGEDCO at Kundah in the Nilgiris. The main objective is to generate hydroelectric power to supply the LBP canal through the Bhavanisagar dam. With insufficient water in Kundah at present, the implementation of this plan is subject to improved storage levels. Notably, a similar decision was taken back in 2001.
According to reliable sources, the water level in Bhavanisagar dam (Lower Bhavani) is currently at an alarming low, resulting in the maintenance of a nominal water release of 1,500 cusecs into the LBP canal for irrigation purposes. Recognizing the concerns of farmers who heavily rely on the LBP canal, the state government has approved the release of five tmcft of water from the Kundah reservoirs. TANGEDCO has already issued an order to this effect.
Angela Sagaya Mary, the Chief Engineer (Hydro) of TANGEDCO, stated in her letter to the Water Resources Department on October 31 that the managing director had approved the release of 114.50 million cusecs of water per day for LBP irrigation, based on the available net hydroelectric reservoir capacity. However, no specific timeline was mentioned in the letter with regards to the provision of this water. Reliable sources indicate that the three hydroelectric reservoirs are capable of storing up to 15 tmcft of water. Presently, the combined storage of these reservoirs stands at approximately 5 tmcft. The department officials remain optimistic, hoping for favorable rainfall during the Northeast monsoon season.
“We express our gratitude to Chief Minister MK Stalin, Ministers S Muthusamy, MP Saminathan, and other officials for approving the release of water from Kundah. This decision is vital for paddy farmers who need water for another 60 days before they can commence harvesting, requiring approximately 9 tmcft of water,” said KV Ponnaiyan, secretary of the Lower Bhavani ayacut landowners association. The government’s timely action has been lauded by M Ravi, the Organizer of the Lower Bhavani Irrigation Conservation Movement.
Officials from the Water Resources Department have confirmed the approval of the release of five tmcft of water at a rate of 1,300 cusecs per day for LBP irrigation. The actual release into the Bhavanisagar dam will depend on the availability of water in the reservoirs. As of Friday, the inflow to Bhavanisagar dam was 1,035 cusecs, with a storage level of 8.78 tmcft out of a total capacity of 32.8 tmcft.
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1. What is the purpose of releasing water from Kundah reservoirs?
The water from the Kundah reservoirs is being released to generate hydroelectric power and supply the LBP canal through the Bhavanisagar dam. This measure aims to ensure sufficient water supply for irrigation.
2. How much water has been approved for release?
The state government has approved the release of five tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) of water from the Kundah reservoirs, subject to improved storage levels.
3. Why is the release of water crucial for paddy farmers?
Paddy farmers rely on water for irrigation to cultivate their crops. With the water level in Bhavanisagar dam being low, the release of water from Kundah reservoirs is vital for their farming activities, especially considering that harvesting is set to begin in approximately 60 days.
4. Who approved the release of water, and who should be thanked for this decision?
The managing director of TANGEDCO approved the release of water, and the decision was supported by Chief Minister MK Stalin, Ministers S Muthusamy, MP Saminathan, and other officials. KV Ponnaiyan, secretary of the Lower Bhavani ayacut landowners association, expressed gratitude to them for their approval and support.