Before Pushkaralu, dry Godavari raises concern

Mr Reddy said more borewells will be dug and sprinklers will be instaled near all the Pushkar ghats
Hyderabad: The Godavari River at Basar has gone bone dry ahead of Pushkaralu in July forcing the Telangana government to draw up contingency plans to enable pilgrims to have a holy dip. Pilgrims at Basar are already depending on borewells to take a bath before entering the Saraswati temple there. The government is planning to dig more borewells and instal sprinklers to overcome the problem, but this would not be sufficient to cater to lakhs of pilgrims during Pushkaralu. The government has now pinned its hopes on Maharashtra to release water from its dams, but, this too, would be difficult if the Monsoon fails.
Endowments minister A. Indrakaran Reddy said, “We are relying more on god than anyone else to overcome the crisis. We are hopeful that god would ensure good rains in June and make the first Pushkaralu in TS a grand success.” Mr Reddy added, “We have already written to the Maharashtra government to release water to Basar from Vishnupur, in case the Monsoon fails and there are no rains by July. We are expecting a positive response.”
Mr Reddy said more borewells will be dug and sprinklers will be instaled near all the Pushkar ghats. However, doubts are being raised whether pilgrims, who come from across the globe for a holy dip in Godavari, would be satisfied with a sprinkler bath. He said in a worst case scenario, 3 to 4 tmc of SRSP water would be released which will cover Pushkar ghats from Adilabad to Khammam. But Basar would be a problem, which could be overcome only with Maharashtra’s help.
While the TS government is making grandiose arrangements to conduct the first Godavari Pushkaralu in TS along the lines of Kumbh-mela, the dried up Godavari and near dead storage level in Sriramsagar project have become a cause of major concern for TS government.
“At present, SRSP has reserves of 11.4 tmc. But the project remains the major drinking water source for surrounding villages and towns. The government issued instructions that drinking water should be given topmost priority. If water is released for Pushkaralu, the project will be left with 4.5 tmc by July and in case the Monsoon fails this year, it would lead to severe drinking water problem,” said B. Rama Rao, executive engineer, SRSP.
( Source : dc )
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