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Bird sanctuary at Ranganathittu inundated as KRS outflow rises

Special Correspondent

Water release stepped up to 89,000 cusecs; inflow crosses 1 lakh cusecs


  • Inflow of 1,01,000 cusecs into KRS highest in a decade
  • Cauvery Neeravari Nigam issues flood warning
  • Major reservoirs in the Cauvery basin nearing the full reservoir level
  • Water release likely to be stepped up



    IN DISTRESS: With the release of water from the Krishna Raja Sagar reservoir being stepped up to 89,000 cusecs on Monday, the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary has been flooded. — Photo: M.A. Sriram

    MYSORE: The bird sanctuary at Ranganathittu has been flooded, and the historic Wellesley Bridge across the Cauvery is in danger of being submerged at Srirangapatna with 89,000 cusecs of water being released from the Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) reservoir on Monday.

    This follows an unprecedented inflow of 1,01,000 cusecs, which is reckoned to be the highest in the past decade.

    Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd. has issued a flood warning saying that the outflow from the KRS may be further increased as all the four major reservoirs in the Cauvery basin are nearing the full reservoir level (FRL).

    The nigam said water is being released from all the four reservoirs as a precautionary measure and the release from the Kabini and the KRS reservoirs at noon on Monday was 38,000 cusecs and 80,000 cusecs respectively. The release of water from the reservoirs is expected to increase in the next 24 hours as the catchment area is continuing to receive heavy rainfall. This will inundate low-lying areas downstream of the Kabini and KRS reservoirs.

    The water-level in the KRS was121.45 ft on Monday as against the FRL of 124.80 ft. The inflow into the dam went up to 1,01,000 cusecs by Monday evening and the outflow was increased to 89,000 cusecs. The inflow into the Kabini reservoir was 36,130 cusecs and the outflow 30,350 cusecs.

    The increase in the inflow into the KRS has been attributed to good rainfall in the catchment area of the Cauvery in Kodagu and release of water from the Hemavathy and Harangi reservoirs. This is the fist time in nearly a decade that such a large volume of water is being released from the KRS. People are making a beeline for the KRS reservoir ad the Wellesley Bridge to get a glimpse of the river in spate.

    The birds at the Ranganathittu sanctuary were the first to suffer the brunt of nature's fury with water swamping the boating arena and flooding the corridors forcing the authorities to close the sanctuary till further notice.

    Hundreds of white ibis, night herons, cormorants, spoonbills, egrets and other birds have been driven out of their nests and their young ones have been washed away in the swirling waters.

    Ornithologists said 4,000 birds were observed in the sanctuary on Friday, and with most of them being late breeders the flooding would hit them badly.

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