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Six crest gates of Srisailam dam opened

Special Correspondent

Two more to be opened today, 5 lakh cusecs of water released

HYDERABAD: Six of the 12 crest gates of Srisailam dam were opened late on Monday night to give way to 5 lakh cusecs coming from upper reaches of the Krishna.

The dam was filled up to 873 feet against its maximum level of 885 ft. The Krishna is in floods in its upper reaches due to torrential rain in Maharashtra and Karnataka. Mahabaleshwar region alone received 30 cm rain on Sunday.

The gates were lifted shortly around midnight. The dam authorities wanted to lift the gates earlier but the last minute hitch came from old machinery left on the slopes of the right bank, which were used and abandoned after apron work sometime ago. The dam staff tried to pull the machinery up using the ropeway over the dam but in vain. They had to use manual pulleys to finally bring them onto the top the bank. Prior to the opening of the gates engineers performed a pooja. The gates, lifted to 10ft to start with began to discharge two lakh cusecs combined with one lakh cusecs released through power generation at the project's hydel station. The total quantity of water going to Nagarjunasagar reached three lakh cusecs.

The project had already released about 10,000 cusecs to Rayalaseema canals including Telugu Ganga through Potioreddypadu regulator.

For a week

The Srisailam dam Chief Engineer, P.S.N. Reddy told The Hindu that the flood would continue at five lakh cusecs for a week due to the rains in Maharashtra. He said they would open two more gates on Tuesday apart from lifting the present ones by a height of 12 ft. He hoped that Nagarjunasagar would also be full in a few days following this. The Collectors of Mahabubnagar, Kurnool, Nalgonda and Guntur districts, at the instance of the Government sounded an alert to the areas abutting the river asking people to go to higher contour areas.

For kharif crop

Meanwhile, a Cabinet meeting on Monday decided that water would be released to all irrigation canals for kharif season from August 7. The list of the canals includes the right and left banks canals of Nagarjunasagar, Kakatiya and Lakshmi of Sriramsagar and KC canal, Telugu Ganga and others of Srisailam project.

The Minister for Information & Public Relations, Mohd Ali Shabbir, said it was gratifying that the APGenco had pressed into service an installed capacity of 1,560 MW from Srisailam hydel complex, giving great relief to the heavily strained thermal stations.

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