More rains predicted, 7 gates lifted at Srisailam dam

Heavy rains Seven of 12 gates of Srisailam lifted after steady inflows from Tungabhadra and Jurala projects

By Author  |  Published: 18th Aug 2018  9:05 pm

Hyderabad: The current spell of heavy rains lashing Telangana, particularly the northern districts of the State, has much to do with an unexpected turn towards the southwest of a depression that was originally expected to move over north coastal Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), it was this unanticipated development that resulted in heavy rains over much of North Telangana. Though the depression has now moved northward and away from the State, the IMD on Saturday said Telangana can expect heavy rains over 16 of its 31 districts over the next two days.

Meanwhile, Godavari river continues to be above the first warning level of 43 feet at Bhadrachalam. Though the level receded from a high of 47.8 ft on Friday, irrigation deparment officials are on the alert with expectations of additional flows into the river from upstream Maharashtra as well as rains in Telangana.

Elsewhere, the AP Irrigation Department officials at the Srisailam dam, opened seven of the 12 gates of the dam following copious inflows from upstream Tungabhadra and Jurala projects into the Srisailam reservoir.

While the outflow from the seven gates was pegged at 2.83 lakh cusecs, the inflows were estimated at 3.5 lakh cusecs. The water level in the project touched 882 ft, against the full reservoir level of 885 feet.

Weather warning

In the afternoon, in its latest weather warning, the IMD said the districts of Adilabad, Kumram-Bheem, Nirmal, Mancherial, Nizamabad, Jagitial, Rajanna-Siricilla, Peddapalli, Karimnagar, Jayashankar-Bhupalapally, Mahbubabad, Bhadradri-Kothagudem, Khammam and Suryapet can expect heavy rain in isolated places on Sunday and Monday.

Typically, much of Telangana State receives rains during the monsoons as a result of low pressures or depressions that form over West Central Bay of Bengal. These move in a West, Northwesterly direction bringing rains to the State. When a depression or a low pressure exists over Nortwest Bay of Bengal, it normally moves over coastal AP and Odisha but the one that formed last week behaved differently resulting in rains over much of North Telangana, according to Dr K Naga Ratna of the IMD office here.

She said the location of formation of the low pressure systems over Bay of Bengal is key to where the rains will occur. For this to happen, moisture laden winds from over the Arabian Sea in the west have to move over the Indian peninsula and meet with similar moisture carrying winds over the Bay of Bengal. Where they meet and where the low pressure systems form depends on wind currents at different altitudes, she explained.

Continuous reviews

Speaking over phone from the Srisailam project, Chief Engineer C Narayan Reddy said that the situation at the project is being reviewed every three hours and the need for lifting more gates would be examined depending on the inflows. Four of the project gates were opened on Saturday morning and three more were lifted by evening.

The inflows into Nagarjuna Sagar project, downstream Srisailam reservoir, which have been of the order of 1.7 lakh cusecs till the gates at Srisailam were lifted, are expected to increase to three lakh cusecs by Sunday evening. The NSP Chief Engineer S Sunil said the water level in the project crossed 530.4 ft on Saturday morning, against the Full Reservoir Level of 590 ft. He said water will be released to the NSP left canal from August 22. The left canal has an ayacut of 6.4 lakh acres.