Fresh inflows end water shortage worries for Krishna Pushkarams

The ensuing 12-day river festival, Krishna Pushkarams, will not face any shortage of water thanks to heavy inflows from the upper reaches of the river.The active southwest monsoon has also set to rest the controversy over diversion of Godavari water into Krishna at Vijayawada.

Religious scholars had objected to the diversion of Godavari water to solve the problem of water shortage in Prakasam barrage on the grounds that pilgrims should dip in the Krishna water during the Pushkarams.

All major reservoirs across the Krishna have been receiving copious inflows thus clearing the way for the smooth conduct of the river festival.

Srisailam reservoir has been receiving over 30,000 cusecs inflows and the water level touched 826 feet on Tuesday . Anticipating more inflows, the AP government has started releasing water downstream to Nagarjunasagar. Telangana also reciprocated by releasing water from Nagarjunasagar to Pulichintala in the downstream.

By releasing 11,718 cusecs from Srisailam left and right canals, both states are generating about 900 MW hydel power. To ensure water for nearly 72 Pushkaram ghats in AP , about 4,600 cusecs of water is being released by Telangana from Nagarjunasagar.

Earlier, AP government made efforts to divert Godavari water through Pattiseema project. But the move was opposed by some religious leaders. They pointed out that mixing of Godavari and Krishna waters for Pushkarams is not religiously cor rect. AP government tried to defend the move and sought the support of seers and pundits. Some religious leaders even recommended that devotees take a dip in the Krishna river in Telangana rather than in AP to gain the full benefit of the Pushkaram bath. This has sent jitters in AP government, which has spent about Rs 1,000 crore for Krishna Pushkarams.

“Luckily, we have received heavy inflows and Telangana also agreed to release water downstream. With the breach in the right main canal of Polavaram, we have stopped diversion of water from Pattiseema. Now we will have Krishna water for the Puskarams,“ said a senior official in AP government.

With Almatti and Narayanpur dams filled to the full reservoir level, Karnataka is letting out the flood inflows. Jurala reservoir in Telangana is also filled to the brim. More inflows are expected as the southwest monsoon will continue for about 60 days more.

About 150 tmc ft of flood is expected into Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar dams during August-September.

“For the last four days, Srisaialam reservoir has been receiving more than 35,000 cusecs inflow per day . The water level in the dam has increased to 826 ft from 788 feet at the beginning of the monsoon.We are confident of water reaching full reservoir level very soon,“ said G Chittibabu, chief engineer of the AP irrigation department.

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