BENGALURU: The state government has decided to build a balancing reservoir downstream of the Tungabhadra (TB) dam to offset the reduction in storage capacity of the dam. Heavy accumulation of silt has led to reduced storage at TB dam.
Announcing the decision, Water Resources Minister M B Patil said the government has dropped the proposal of desilting the dam to restore its full capacity.
Constructed in 1953 across Tungabhadra river near Hosapete in Ballari district, TB dam was designed to store 133 tmcft of water. But it can hold only about 100 tmcft now.
Patil, who released a three-year report card of his ministry, said the proposal to desilt TB dam was dropped based on suggestion by experts. The desilting option was not feasible as it would have cost thousands of crores and would have required 66,000 acres to dump the silt, Patil added.
TB dam is estimated to have accumulated 32 tmcft of silt over the last six decades. This has severely affected the irrigation needs of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The new balancing reservoir is proposed to be built at Navile village in Koppal district with a storage capacity of 35 tmcft of water and it is estimated to cost `5,600 crore. Andhra Pradesh will bear 35 per cent of the project cost. A formal decision on the project is expected soon.