The 120-foot Mettur dam had a comfortable storage level of 94.840 feet. As there was a prolonged delay in opening the dam, farmers in the Delta region had begun to make desperate pleas to the state government to release water for samba cultivation.
Over the last few years, the dam has been missing its usual scheduled date of June 12 for water release owing to poor water level as rainfall was scanty and also due to the raging dispute with Karnataka. Moreover, this year the water level stood at a mere 20 feet on June 12.
But rain in the last one month had improved the situation, which took a good turn. The catchment areas of the Cauvery started filling up due to continuous downpour and the there was a steady rise in the inflow into the dam. On Monday, the inflow was 13,928 cusecs.
Initially, 2000 cusecs of water was released and the discharge was increased in a phased manner to 15,000 cusecs by 10 pm on Monday. The water will help irrigate 16.05 lakh acres of land in Salem, Namakkal, Erode, Karur, Tiruchy, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Pudukkottai and Cuddalore districts.
As the water storage level reached a comfortable position, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on September 28 ordered release of water from the Mettur dam. Electricity Minister P Thangamani, along with higher Education Minister KP Anbalagan and Environment Minister KC Karuppannan, opened the sluice gates of the dam in the presence of Salem District Collector Rohini R Bhajibhakare and other party functionaries.
- Full reservoir level: 120 feet
- Current storage: 94.840 feet (Monday morning)
- Level on Sept 28: 90 feet
- Position on June 12: 20 feet
- Inflow on Monday: 13,928 cusecs
- Total area to be irrigated: 16 lakh acres
- Number of districts to benefit: 12
Bhavanisagar, Papanasam, Manimuthar reservoirs to be opened from October 5
Following requests from farmers, water from Bhavanisagar, Papanasam, Servalar, and Manimuthar reservoirs would be released from October 5 onwards, said Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday.
The CM said water from Bhavanisagar reservoir would flow through Gopichettipalayam, Sathyamangalam, Andhiyar, Erode and Bhavani blocks via Arakkankottai, Thadapalli, Kalingarayan, and Lower Bhavani scheme channels, and would irrigate 1,43,747 acres of agricultural land in Erode. Palaniswami observed similar requests were made by the agrarian populace in Tamirabarani basin in Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi districts.
Water will be released from Papanasam, Servalar, and Manimuthar reservoirs. Water flowing through North Kodai Melalagiyan, South Kodai Melalagiyan, Tirunelveli channels, Maruthur Melakal, Maruthur Keelakal, South Main and North Main channels, would irrigate 86,107 acres of farm land.