Delay in inflows into Telangana dams now a big worry

There has been a significant drop in inflows in lower Godavari from Pranahita, Indravati and Sabari.

Hyderabad: Hyderabad: With the IMD predicting good rains this monsoon, how much time will it take for the depleted dams in Telangan and AP to fill, if the rains come on time in the first week of June?

Engineering officials say that inflows into Jurala and Srisailam can be expected only in August due to the upstream states Karnataka and Maharashtra also facing water crises.

“We get almost 85 per cent of inflows in Krishna from Karnataka and almost 95 per cent of inflows to Sriramsagar project on Godavari from Maharashtra. Even if it is a normal monsoon, the upstream states will try to fill their dams first and only then allow inflows to reach us,” said Telangana engineering-in-chief C. Muralidhar.

Only heavy rainfall can save us, say Telangana officials

With the IMD predicting good rains this monsoon, engineering officials say that inflows into Jurala and Srisailam can be expected only in August due to the upstream states Karnataka and Maharashtra also facing water crises.

There is no significant independent catchment for Pulichintala, Nagarjunasagar, Jurala and Srisailam to contribute good inflows. They have to depend on the releases and inflows in the Krishna River in Karnataka.

“If there’s heavy rain locally in Mahbubnagar and Kurnool districts, like it happened on October 2 and 3 in 2009 — in the order of 25 cm — we need not worry. But if we get normal rains, the run-off water will not be sufficient to fill up our dams,” said TS engineering-in-chief C. Muralidhar.

It is much worse in north Telangana, which entirely depends on Manjeera and upper Godavari inflows. The Sriramsagar project, the lifeline of north Telangana region, received only 2.16 tmc ft inflow in the whole of 2015, apparently the lowest since the dam was constructed in 1963.

Similar is the case of Singur and Nizamsagar constructed across Manjeera. “Normally, Tungabhadra gets good inflows in July as the catchments of Tunga and Bhadra are in areas that get heavy rains than Narayanpur, Almatti and Ujjain dams which are in rain shadow areas, so are hoping for some quantum of inflows from Tungabhadra into Srisailam in July, at least 10 tmc ft. But the crucial month would be August,” an official said.

The Tungabhadra Dam, too, is facing a severe crisis and Monday’s reservoir level was below 3 tmc ft, against a full capacity of 100 tmc ft. This means only surplus water will be released to the canals under it.

“We are praying to the rain gods for more showers this year; after bifurcation, AP now has three upstream states on the river Krishna, we expect inflows for the AP projects only in the last week of August. We have to somehow compensate the Krishna Delta needs with Godavari through Pattiseema,” said AP Irrigation principal secretary B. Adityanath Das.

The Central Water Commission, the agency that authoritatively monitors and measures the inflows of both Krishna and Godavari rivers, has estimated Krishna inflows in the Telugu states in the 2015 Water Year as the lowest ever.

The five measurement stations on River Krishna, its tributaries Tungabhadra and Bhima, have shown the lowest inflows since 1973, from when CWC started collecting data. The CWC station at Mantralayam across Tungabhadra River in AP received only 55 tmc ft of water against the average 213 tmc ft. Bawapuram station on Tungabhadra in TS received 39 tmc ft from the average of 184 tmc ft.

Huvinhedgi station on main Krishna River in Karnataka showed only 37 tmc ft against an average of 547 tmc ft. Yadgir Station on Bhima River in Karnataka indicated only 14 tmc ft of inflows from the average 289 tmc ft. The worst is the Wadenapally station on River Krishna near the Pulichintala Dam, which recorded 19 tmc ft against a normal of 791 tmc ft.

“The 2002 and 2003 water years are so far the worst in Krishna River’s history, however in 2015, except for the inflows recorded at Mantralayam and Bawapuram, the other three stations, Huvinhedgi, Yadgir and Wadenapally, recorded very low inflows, making it the lowest ever,” said a CWC official.

On the Godavari front, the upper Godavari station, Yelli in Nanded district, showed nil inflows in 2015, reflecting the Sriram Sagar project’s plight. Tekra station located to measure Pranahita tributary of Godavari in Maharashtra recorded 705 tmc ft against 1,290 tmc ft.

Pathagudem station in Chhattisgarh on Indravati River received 682 tmc ft against average 870 tmc ft. Polavaram station on Godavari got 1,900 tmc ft against an average of 3098 tmc ft, the official said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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