KURNOOL: Water shortage seems to be on the horizon as storage levels in major reservoirs of Andhra Pradesh have fallen drastically.
Level of Srisailam reservoir has touched 808 ft against full reservoir level of 885 ft. Water availability is just 33.59 TMC, only 15 percent of total storage capacity. Nagarjunasagar, downstream of Srisailam, has storage of just 191.05 TMC against 312 TMC capacity. Priyadarshini Jurala and Tungabhadra each have mere 3.98 TMC of water.
Srisailam superintendent engineer M. Srinivasula Reddy said as of now there is nothing to worry about. But if the level falls below 780 ft, then it will be a problem to discharge water downstream or through Pothireddypadu head regulator.
Krishna water is being drawn into Penna through Owk and Mylavaram reservoirs and also through Kundu River to take it to Nellore district's Somasila reservoir. But Somasila too has 56.63 TMC feet of water against its storage capacity 78 TMC.
Dowleswaram circle irrigation superintendent engineer R. Shivarama Krishna said the current storage in barrage is 2.2 TMC against the total capacity of 3 TMC. There is no problem in supplying drinking water to Rajahmundry city as it requires just 0.22 TMC.
Kurnool Municipal Corporation (KMC) area depends on Sunkesula reservoir for drinking water. Corporation executive engineer Surendra Babu said the reservoir has storage of 1.07 TMC, which will be sufficient till the end of May. He reassured people that water could be tapped from Gajuladinne project too, which is presently having a storage of 2.61 TMC. He said normally rains fall even in April and May months. But if there is a dry spell even in June, then it may lead to water scarcity in the city. But that would be a rare case, he felt.
However, river beds of Tungabhadra, Kundu, and Handri have dried up. In the absence of alternative drinking water sources, villagers are digging up “chalimalu” (water pits) on river beds in search of water.
For residents of Mantralayam, Yammiganur and Kodumur assembly constituencies, River Tungabhadra is the only source of drinking water. Alur, Pathikonda, Nandikotkur, Srisailam and Adoni assembly constituencies are dependent on KC canal, Handri Neeva and low-level canal, which are not able to supply water regularly. In Kosigi, Aspari, Pedakadubur, Chippagiri, Nandavaram, Tuggali, Belagal, Guduru, and Kothapalli too, water supply has gone down drastically. Tube-wells are either not working or giving water that is unfit for human consumption.
Drinking water supply schemes, which had been formulated for almost all villages spending crores of rupees, have proved to be a failure.