HYDERABAD: Heavy rains which have been lashing various parts of Telangana for the past few days may have brought cheer to farmers and others but for the one crore citizens of Greater Hyderabad the situation is grim and disheartening.
The incessant rains in the city and on its outskirts in the last few days have failed to fill the reservoirs. The five major reservoirs _ Osmansagar, Himayatsagar, Akkampally (Krishna), Singur and Manjira _ that were meeting the drinking needs of Greater Hyderabad and surrounding villages for several years are now in deplorable condition and there has been no improvement in the water level for the last one week.
Due to scanty rainfall in the catchment areas and negligible water inflows to these reservoirs, inflow of not even a few million gallons of water (MGD) inflows has been recorded in the last one week, giving jitters to the authorities of HMWS&SB.
“Though rains have been lashing various districts, it has not been raining much in the catchment areas of these crucial reservoirs. If it rains in their catchment areas, these reservoirs will become full,’’ HMWS&SB officials said. Four reservoirs —Himayatsagar, Osmansagar, Singur and Manjira _ used to meet 35 to 40 per cent of the drinking needs of the city till last year. The irony is that water supply from Osmansagar and Himayatsagar reservoirs was totally stopped long ago. Whatever water that is available in the these two reservoirs has been stored to meet emergency needs in near future.
The inflows of flood water to these reservoirs have stopped completely due to large-scale encroachment of catchment areas, illegal construction of check dams and small tanks. Same is the case with the Krishna Drinking Water Project from where 268 MGD of water is drawn in three phases. Water which is drawn from Akkampally of Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir, though inflows have been reported but they are negligible in nature.
The supply of water from Singur and Manjira to city was stopped a few years ago in order to use the water to meet the irrigation needs of neighbouring districts. Therefore, the only solace now is Godavari water as inflows have been trickling in and water levels are slowly rising. At present, 132 MGD of water is being drawn and supplied to the city and its outskirts. The total storage capacity of these four reservoirs is about 39.816 tmcft— Osmansagar (3.900 tmcft, Himayatsagar (2.967 tmcft), Singur (30 tmcft) and Manjira (1,500 tmcft). The present storage levels are: Osmansagar (1.609 tmcft), Himayatsagar (1.358 tmcf) and Singur (7.460 tmcft).
The reliability of these sources has been diminishing with each passing year due to scanty rainfall and encroachment of catchment areas.
Reservoirs get meagre inflows
Though the district has received rains, the two major reservoirs in the district — Sri Ram Sagar and Nizam Sagar— have not received much of inflows. On the other hand, water levels in local streams are increasing. According to officials, SRSP has received only 3,500 cusecs of water.
Godavari level rising, officials on high alert
Due to heavy rains in the Godavari upper catchment area, water level has been rising at Bhadrachalam. Currently, the level is 31.2 feet and it will rise further if the rains continue. District collector Rajiv Gandhi Hanumanthu alerted officials of the departments concerned and directed them to take precautionary steps.
10 gates of Sripada project lifted
The gates of Sripada Yellampalli project were lifted. Peddapalli, Ramagundam, Karimnagar and Jagtial districts have been receiving heavy rains since Saturday. Project chief engineer G Anil Kumar said that 10 gates were lifted as the water level rose. Nearly 2.90 lakh cusecs of water was released from the Yellampalli project. Meanwhile, two crane operators working at the Siddilla pump-house of Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project fell into the water when they were trying to shift the crane to a safe place.
LOW-LYING AREAS WORST AFFECTED
Continuous rains for the last three days has thrown life in most of the districts of the state out of gear. Among them Bhupalpally is the worst-hit with the rains submerging many villages and low-lying areas. However, farmers are happy as the rains have come at a time when it was feared that the dry spell would damage their crops. In the district, almost all streams are to the brim and in many places low-level culverts are overflowing. The famous Laknavaram lake is filled to the brim with water.