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UP TO THE BRIM: A view of the Stanley reservoir at Mettur on Thursday evening.
METTUR/CHENNAI: The Stanley reservoir, the lifeline of the Cauvery delta, touched the full reservoir level (FRL) of 120 feet on Thursday evening [5-15 p.m.] for the 37th time in its 76-year history.
The previous occasion when the dam reached FRL was on July 20, 2007. The dam touching FRL in the month of December is a rarity. Till now, this has happened twice - in 1972 and 1997.
Officials of the Water Resources Department say that as the inflow is not alarming, there is no need to open immediately 16 vents. To maintain the level at 120 feet, the entire inflow is being discharged.
At about 6 p.m., the reservoir recorded an inflow of 13,710 cubic feet per second (cusecs), all of which was discharged into the Cauvery river through the tunnels of the hydel power station. Electricity production of 80 megawatt (MW) to 150 MW was resumed. A maximum of 25,000 cusecs could be released through the tunnels. The storage was 93.47 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft).
A month ago, the storage of the reservoir was barely 30 tmc ft. Through November, the Mettur reservoir realised 67 tmc ft. According to a senior water expert, the surplus water released from Krishnaraja Sagar in Karnataka contributed 50 per cent of the realisation in November with the other half from intermediate catchment. In a month, the shortfall of around 80 tmc ft in the realisation of Cauvery water from the neighbouring State came down to about 28 tmc ft.
On Wednesday-Thursday, several areas in the State continued to experience heavy rainfall. During the 24-hour-period that ended at 8-30 a.m. on Thursday, Papanasam (Tirunelveli district) registered 17 cm; Kulasekarapattinam (Tuticorin) – 16 cm; Kothavacheri (Cuddalore) – 13 cm; Mamallapuram, Uthiramerur, Thaluthalai (Perambalur) and Panruti – 12 cm each and Parangipettai and Kallakurichi – 11 cm each, according to a release issued by Principal Secretary and Commissioner of Revenue Administration N. Sundaradevan. So far, 123 persons have died (58 men, 35 women and 30 children). Of 17,417 huts affected, 14,447 were partially damaged. About Rs. 1.31 crore has been distributed to the families of the dead, those who lost their cattle and hut dwellers.
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