BANGALORE: Cauvery Neeravari Nigama Limited (CNNL) Managing Director K Jaiprakash on Saturday said that water will not be released into the Visvesvaraya Canal of the Krishna Raja Sagara (KRS) reservoir as Hulikere tunnel, through which water has to flow, is under repair.
Jaiprakash said that the tunnel is closed every year in June and July to carryout maintenance work. “This year too we decided to take up maintenance work of the damaged tunnel at a cost of `14 crore. This time we are putting up steel structures and the tunnel’s path will concretised.” He said authorities expect to finish the entire project by July end.
Jaiprakash also said that farmers from Maddur and surrounding regions had blocked Bangalore-Mysore higway on July 3 demanding release of water. “We had informed farmers that water cannot be released. If we do not repair the tunnel before releasing water into canal, it is not safe. Unless tunnel work is completed, storing water and releasing it in the next summer will be hit,” he said.
Jaiprakash said that the Indian Meteorological Department has predicted a below normal monsoon and has advised to use available water in reservoirs only for drinking needs.
The present storage at KRS is barely adequate to meet the drinking requirements of Mysore, Srirangapatna, Mandya and Bangalore for the next three months. “If available water is utilised for irrigation, there would be a possibility of drinking water scarcity,” he said. Jaiprakash said that usually water for the summer crops is stopped on May 31 and water is again released into canals in the third week of July after the water-level in the KRS reaches 110 feet. “As of today, the water-level is 80.98 feet and water that can be utilised is 2.84 TMC. The flow is only 2,060 cusecs,” he said.
Farmers Plan Protest
Shambunahalli Suresh, Secretary to Mandya District Farmers’ Association alleged, “They did not inform us about stopping the release of water. Sugarcane was planted. But now there is no water. Let them stop the ongoing work for 15 days and release water and after that for another 15 days they can stop the water release and take up the work. We will soon decide whether to protest at the Mandya DC’s Office or come down to Bangalore to protest. Let them waive our loans,” he said.