The opening of the Stanley Reservoir at Mettur on the customary date on June 12 stands ruled out despite the timely onset of South West Monsoon.
The closing stock of the Mettur dam after the last irrigation spell remained dismally low and the monsoon is yet to make the desired level of impact on its storage.
The dam at present has just 3.58 tmcft against its capacity of 93.5 tmcft and the level stands at 18.150 feet against its full height of 120 feet. However, as per technical reasons, the dam can be opened only after the level reaches at least 90 feet. As on date the inflow is a mere trickle of 72 cusecs while 500 cusecs is being discharged for drinking water purpose.
Even from the recent downpour in the catchment areas the reservoir did not benefit much as in the last 10 days showers were experienced only on four days.
On June 7, the Mettur catchment received 11.2 mm. After a momentary surge in inflow on June 3 (1600 cusecs) it slipped drastically the next day and touched below 100 cusecs. Thus the chances of opening the dam for Cauvery delta irrigation seems to be bleak on June 12.
This is the second consecutive year the opening of the Mettur Dam opening is being postponed indefinitely beyond the customary date of June 12 for delta irrigation. Last year, the dam was opened on September 17 and it took a toll on the first crop Kuruvai.
The decision this year will be made by the government depending on how the farmers in delta plan their crop and how the Lower Cauvery Basin Water Resources Wing draws irrigation plans, say officials. Farmers in certain pockets of the delta would have reduced or forgone the first crop anticipating the deficit while some would go for a mix of alternate irrigation sources along with the supply from the Mettur dam when storage builds, feel officials.