After five decades, Pennar sees water flow in summer

The untimely heavy rains three months ago helped Pennar river and its other tributaries to continue flowing

ANANTAPUR: After more than five decades, the Pennar river, which was known as the dead river of Rayalaseema, flows even during the hot summer season through parts of Anantapur district.

The untimely heavy rains three months ago helped Pennar river and its other tributaries to continue flowing. The river witnesses constant flow of water at Roddam mandal headquarters and also at historic Aswartha Narayana Swamy temple in Peddapappur mandal.

Tens of thousands of devotees had a holy bath at Pennar river — at the bathing ghat at the Aswartha Narayana Swamy temple during all the days of the Magha Masam also marking the annual Brahmotsavalu.

“This was first time we have seen enough water flow in the river for a holy dip in Magha masam,” said devotee Manoj Kumar. He noted that there was no water in the river and they used to have the holy bath at the temple premises during the previous years.

Apart from the 597 km-long riverbed of Pennar in both Karnataka and AP, the seasonal river has tributaries Jayamangali, Kumudwathi and Sagileru from the northern side and Chitravathi, Papagni and Cheyyeru rivers from the southern parts.

Chitravati continues to have heavy flow of water at many parts from the AP borders towards the Chitravathi Balancing Reservoir at Kadapa district border for the past three months.

The Pennar is also known North Pinakini, as the Pinaka bow of the Nandhiswara, the presiding deity, rises in Nandi Hills in Chikballapur district of Karnataka and enters AP at Hindupur and ends up in the Bay of Bengal, a distance of some 597km.

Even as the drainage basin covers 55,213 km2 - 6,937 km2 in Karnataka and 48,276 km2 in AP, the rain shadow region of Eastern Ghats with 500mm average rainfall, couldn't flow even during the rainy season.

The small drain Pennar flows for 48km towards the north through a few villages of Tumkur district in Karnataka before entering the state and turned out as a sand digging point.

Girish, from Roddam mandal headquarters, observed that he had never seen a river flowing in the summer during the past 55 years.

Rayalaseema Forum convener Appireddy Harinath stressed the need for connectivity between Krishna and Pennar rivers by way of a permanent solution for the drinking and irrigation problems of the drought-hit areas.

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