As water level at Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) has touched rock bottom and is left with less than 20.62 tmc ft of water, the state government has decided to release water only to standing semi-arid crops in the reservoir basin till August 30.
With no other option, the authorities have decided to stop the release of water from the reservoir and also cautioned the farmers not to blame government for the consequences. It has decided to stop release of water from August 31 to September 10. Based on the storage, decision on releasing water will be taken later.
Taking stock of the situation, Energy Minister D K Shivakumar on Wednesday said that the water level in the state is grim. “Due to deficit in rainfall reservoirs are only 40% full. This would have a negative impact on the power supply also. We are planning short term and long term measures to tackle the situation.
“Release of water from Cauvery basin is bad this year compared to last 40 years. The release of water started from July 30 and continued till August 30. The statistics from weather department has forecast that the situation will be grim in the coming days,” he said.
The minister had a review meeting with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on August 16 and irrigation consultative meeting the previous day.
Officials in the district have been asked to form a district level squad, headed by Deputy Commissioner and horticulture department officials to check the judicious use of water.
The horticulture department is hoping for Gauri rains (next month) from which inflow into KRS would be 25tmc ft to 26 tmc ft during August to December.
Meanwhile, Shivakumar asserted that this year permission has not been given to farmers to cultivate sugarcane as they are water intensive crops. “We have informed the farmers to be careful and if they take up paddy, it is at their own risk. They should not blame government for their crop loss. Many farmers had committed suicide last year due to crop failure.”