DHARMAPURI: With Karnataka reportedly stepping up the water release from Kabini and Krishnaraja Sagar dams, Hogenakkal waterfalls is flooded with an inflow of 1.10 lakh cusecs.
The district administration has banned visitors and transport movement and ordered strict vigil. After the Karnataka government announced the release of water from both the reservoirs last week, inflow to Hogenakkal in Tamil Nadu has been steadily rising.
Not wanting to take chances, as Billigundulu - the last measuring station in Karnataka and the first measuring station in Tamil Nadu on the Cauvery lacks proper communication facilities, the district administration has issued flood alert to people living on the river banks till Mettur.
The prohibition of visitors and vehicles to the waterfalls area comes in the wake of a 2015 incident wherein a group of tourists from Kerala was stranded, leading to a massive rescue operation in which five youths were rescued, revenue officials monitoring the area said.
Over 100 police personnel and staff from the fire service and rescue and forest departments have been deployed in the waterfalls region to maintain vigil. “Keeping tourists away is a challenge as they are storming to Dharmapuri to catch a glimpse of the increased inflow,” Superintendent of Police Bandi Gangadhar said.
The police have put up check posts near Madam village, Chinnapalam near Billigundulu and Hogenakkal. Public and private vehicles to Hogenakkal are also stopped to curb tourists’ arrival, the SP said.
Collector S Malarvizhi, however, ruled out any threat due to increased water flow. “Hogenakkal has recorded inflow up to 1.78 lakh cusecs previously, but as the currents are strong and the chances of people being washed away are high, we are taking precautionary measures,” she said.