Hyderabad: Even a month after the first floods were reported in the Krishna and Godavari river basins, huge inflows continued into the common irrigation projects on Krishna and Medigadda on Godavari, the focal point of the mega Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme. In fact, in the case of projects on Krishna, it is a problem of plenty after a long gap of one decade. The projects have been receiving water in volumes that can’t be used now or stored for the next season.
On Wednesday, it was back to lifting 20 of the 26 gates at Nagarjuna Sagar project, while six out of 12 gates were lifted in the upstream Srisailam on Tuesday. Godavari, thanks to the huge inflows from its tributaries such as Pranahita, Indravati and Sabari, has forced authorities to let go of 100 tmc a day into the Bay of Bengal.
With discharge from upstream Almatti and Narayanpur projects in Karnataka coming down to 1.25 lakh cusecs and 98,000 cusecs, respectively, the flood flow in Krishna is expected to taper down gradually, that is, if there are no rains in the catchment areas in Maharashtra and Karnataka in the coming days.
At Jurala project, the first reservoir in Telangana on Krishna, an outflow of 1.89 lakh cusecs was being maintained against an inflow of 1.75 lakh cusecs. Srisailam project is receiving an inflow of 2.95 lakh cusecs, against an outflow of 3.90 lakh cusecs. At Nagarjuna Sagar Project, both the inflow and outflow are steady at 3.21 lakh cusecs.
The Chief Engineer of Jurala Project, Khagender Rao, said the project received flood waters for the second time in less than a month. “All out efforts were being made to make use of the flood flows. We are able to utilise the flood flow to the maximum extent by releasing water to the gravity canals and lift scheme. Water is also being used for power generation at the two hydel units (240 MW X 2),” he said.
Chief Engineer of Srisailam Project B Narayan Reddy said: “We are tapping the flood water to the fullest extent possible. Water is being released for the Telugu Ganga project to meet the drinking water requirement of Chennai besides feeding projects such as the Handri Neeva Sujala Shravanthi (HNSS) and Kalwakurthy.”
Godavari, which remained dry in the upper reaches in Maharashtra for a major part of the monsoon season, is now witnessing floods. Rains in the upper reaches of Godavari catchment started adding to the inflows into the irrigation projects over the river in Maharashtra. The inflows into Jaikwadi are in the range of 46,000 cusecs in a day. The present storage in the reservoir is 96.47 tmc, against the gross storage capacity of 102 tmc.
Once the Jaikwadi project surpluses, its outflows are expected to benefit the Babli and Sriramsagar project. As of Wednesday, the SRSP was getting an inflow of just 2,400 cusecs.
Meanwhile, inflows into Medigadda barrage were of the order of 4.6 lakh cusecs, mainly due to swollen Pranahita, one of the main tributaries of Godavari. Indravati, another tributary joining Godavari at Perur, is contributing close to 3.5 lakh cusecs.
Taliperu, which joins Godavari at Charla village and Sabari have also added to the flood flow by another 1.5 lakh cusecs. The flood flow in Godavari at Kunavaram village point was about 10 lakh cusecs on Wednesday, down from 12.35 lakh cusecs late on Tuesday night. It was in the order of 13 lakh cusecs at Dowleshwaram in Andhra Pradesh. Godavari is flowing at 34 feet at Bhadrachalam, nine feet below the first warning level of 43 feet. It is likely to rise by two to 2.5 feet by Thursday morning before it starts receding. There is nothing alarming about the flood, said the officials.