The government has decided to construct five check dams with a storage capacity of 1 to 1.25 tmc each across the Cauvery, said Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami after opening the sluice gates of the Stanley Reservoir for irrigation in delta regions on Tuesday.
He said that the AIADMK government was keen on executing the project to link Godavari and Cauvery and the work was over the state would get around 125 tmc. “The Central government has informed us the process to prepare a detailed project report for the linking of the two perennial rivers is in progress,” he added.
Palaniswami, accompanied by senior cabinet colleagues and Public Works Department officials, after opening the gates of the Mettur dam showered flower petals on the first flow. Initially, 3,000 cusecs was released and the quantum was gradually increased to 10,000 cusecs. The discharge, which would continue for 137 days, would replenish 700 water bodies along the Cauvery and its basin areas along with increasing the groundwater level in the region.
The dam remains as a major source for irrigation, besides catering to drinking water needs of 20 districts.
The water release would also enable power generation of 210 MW through the hydroelectric station in the dam. He said over 39,000 water bodies across the State would be desilted at a cost of Rs 1,250 crore under the Kudimaramathu scheme in a phased manner. Earlier, the Mettur dam reached 100-foot mark at 4 am for the 65th time in its history.
This is the second consecutive year Palaniswami was opening the dam to irrigate 6.04 lakh acres in 12 districts. It has been a customary practice to release water from Stanley reservoir, the lifeline of Cauvery delta districts, on June 12 of every year ever since the dam was constructed in 1934 and the discharge would be continued till January 28 when the Kuruvai, Samba and Thaladi irrigation seasons ends.
However, the sluices of the reservoir were not opened on that date for the eighth consecutive year owing to the scanty storage level. Farmers of Salem, Namakkal, Erode, Tiruchy, Karur, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Perambalur, Ariyalur and Cuddalore districts would be benefitted by the release of water.