Somasila reservoir gates opened for first time in 10 years 

Water level in reservoir reaches 74 tmcft against FRL of 78 tmcft; farmers hopeful of cultivating two crops this time 
Srisailam dam officials lift four crest gates and release water downstream  Nagarjuna Sagar on Sunday I Express
Srisailam dam officials lift four crest gates and release water downstream Nagarjuna Sagar on Sunday I Express

NELLORE: With heavy inflows from upstream Kundu and other rivers, two crest gates of Somasila project in Nellore district were opened on Sunday for the fist time after more than 10 years. 

The floodwater is being released into Penna River. This came as a huge relief for the farmers, who are facing problems in getting irrigation water for the past few years.  

Heavy rains in the parched Rayalaseema region, more particularly in Anantapur and Kadapa districts, over the past few days filled River Kundu and other projects downstream to the brim. The water level in

Somasila reservoir has reached 74 tmcft against the Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of 78 tmcft. With the Somasila reservoir receiving an inflow of 32,389 cusecs, there is enough water for irrigation. Project officials are releasing 23,000 cusecs of water from 6th and 7th crest gates of the reservoir to River Penna,  which passes through Nellore rural, Indukurpet, Kovur, and Vidavalur mandals, known as Penna Delta. Water being released from Somasila Reservoir will be diverted to Kanigiri, Sarvepalli, Nellore, Aluru and Chinnakraka balancing reservoirs and local irrigation tanks in the region. There are around 1,750 minor irrigation tanks in the district with a capacity of around 25,000 million cubic feet. 

Farmers are happy that they can cultivate two crops this time as the water is sufficient for the entire year. The farmers are also hoping for copious rains in November and December. 

Meanwhile, the water level in Kandaleru dam has touched 23 tmcft. According to sources, around 9.25 lakh acres of land comes under Somasila ayacut --  5 lakh acres under Somasila main delta area, 2.5 lakh acres under Kandaleru ayacut, 1.5 lakh acres under North and South canals. Officials said that around 520 tanks in the district were filled and 850 cusecs of water has been diverted to Kavali canal and 700 cusecs to North canal and 350 cusecs to South canal. “The district administration should allocate water from Somasila reservoir to all canals for the Rabi season. With heavy inflows to Somasila Reservoir, officials should take steps to fill water tanks for future use. Storage of water will also recharge the groundwater table, which was depleted in majority of the areas in the district in the last four years,” said AP Rythu Sangham district secretary P Sriramulu.

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