The Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd. (CNNL) has issued a flood alert and warned people living in the downstream of the Kabini reservoir at H.D Kote (Mysuru district) to move to safer locations.
The alert, issued on Tuesday, said the outflow from the reservoir would be stepped up to nearly 20,000 cusecs by evening as they anticipate an increase in inflow during the next 24 hours. This is owing to heavy rain in the upstream of the dam, and the catchment area of the Kabini mainly in the Wayanad region of Kerala.
Heavy to very heavy rain continued to pound Kodagu for the third consecutive day throwing normal life out of gear. The district received 106.12 mm rainfall for the 24-hour period ending 8.30 a.m. on Tuesday, and the district administration has cautioned people in the low-lying areas to be careful of rise in water levels.
Of the 104 gram panchayats (GP) in the district, 15 have received rain in excess of 100 mm during the last 24 hours. Balamatta GP received 172 mm of rain, the highest among the gram panchayats, and Bhagamandala GP and surrounding areas, which is the catchment area of the Cauvery, received 170.5 mm, the highest so far this monsoon.
While the reservoir is yet to attain its full level this year and the water level on Tuesday at 8.30 a.m. was at 2,279.54 ft as against the full reservoir level of 2,284 ft, it is customary to maintain a buffer of 2 ft as a safety measure during the rainy season and open the crest gates before the dam attains full reservoir level. But the CNNL has decided not to wait till then and to open the crest gates as there could be a surge in the inflow given the heavy rain in the catchment area.
Last year, the authorities were forced to open all the crest gates due to a sudden surge in the inflow and the discharge peaked to reach 1,20,000 cusecs (on August 10, 2019), which was the highest in the history of the dam constructed in the early 1970s. This resulted in flash floods in the downstream area.
The India Meteorological Department has forecast heavy to very heavy rain across the district till August 7 and issued an orange alert consequent to which the district administration has raised vigil.
The incessant rain in Kodagu follows a long period of lull in July as a result of which the rainfall deficit stands at 36% below normal for the monsoon period June 1 to August 4.