Flood alerts issued in 12 Tamil Nadu districts, after Stanley Reservoir in Mettur reaches capacity for first time in five years

A flood warning was issued in Tamil Nadu after the Stanley Reservoir at Mettur achieved its full reservoir level (FRL) of 120 feet on Monday, for the first time in five years. The water level in the dam was almost at its full capacity, 93.47 thousand million cubic feet.

This was the 39th time that the Mettur Dam achieved FRL in its 85-year-old history. The last time the dam reached near-full capacity was in August 2013, according to a report in The Hindu

 Flood alerts issued in 12 Tamil Nadu districts, after Stanley Reservoir in Mettur reaches capacity for first time in five years

File image of Stanely Reservoir at Mettur, Tamil Nadu. PTI

A flood warning was issued to people in low-lying areas. They were asked to move to safer locations, and also move their livestock, as a precautionary measure.  The warning was issued following a heavy downpour in catchment areas of the Cauvery river and an increase in the discharge of water from the reservoirs Krishna Raja Sagar and Kabini in neighbouring Karnataka, Live Mint reported.

Flood alerts have been issued in 12 districts in Tamil Nadu — Salem, Dharmapuri, Erode, Namakkal, Trichy, Karur, Ariyalur, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore and Pudukottai.

The chief minister released a statement on Monday, saying, “Since the flow of water is high, people are prohibited from entering the river in the restricted areas and those staying in low-lying areas have been asked to move to safer locations.”

Special teams are patrolling the banks of the river in all the districts in the Cauvery delta basin to ensure the safety of the people living in the low-lying areas, according to the Live Mint report.

Five drown in flash flood near Mettur Dam

Five people drowned in Tamil Nadu's Salem district on Sunday after they were washed away by a flood while bathing in the Cauvery river following the release of excess water from the Stanley reservoir of the Mettur dam.

The Public Works Department which maintains the dam, had been releasing 20,000 cusecs of water every day since Thursday to reduce strain on the Stanley reservoir. Authorities say they had issued mandatory warnings about possible flooding before and after the release of excess water, according to a report by Hindustan Times.

“We have given flood alerts through media, loudspeakers, and notices. Also, we have kept danger signboards at 30 vulnerable points in the Salem district. Boat operations have also been stopped. Police and fire service forces are kept ready to respond to the unexpected situation. Tourists who are visiting Mettur should not enter into the river. No one should take selfies by the river,” Rohini Bhajibakare, collector of Salem told Hindustan Times.

Cauvery river verdict

In February 2018, the Supreme Court passed a verdict on the decade-long conflict between the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the Cauvery river.

Largely following the arrangements put in place by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) in 2007, the apex court directed the Karnataka government to release 177.25 thousand million cubics (TMC) of water to Tamil Nadu, 14.75 TMC lesser than what was allotted by the tribunal.

The tribunal had asked the Karnataka to release 192 TMC of water.

The long-awaited judgment was pronounced by a bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices Amitava Roy and AM Khanwilkar.

In April, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to come up with a plan to implement its judgment on the distribution of Cauvery waters by 3 May. The bench had reiterated that its judgment had to be complied with, by all the stakeholders.

The Centre presented a draft of the Cauvery Management Scheme for smooth distribution of water among the four states — Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry — saying the scheme should be taken to its "logical end".

The intervention was approved by the apex court.

On 18 July, the tribunal was dissolved by the Centre stating that all the disputes over the river water among the states had reached a "finality" and the panel was no longer needed.

The Cauvery river flows through the southern states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Both the states have been at loggerheads for their shares the water. In 1990, the Union Government had set up the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal to look into inter-state river water disputes.

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Updated Date: Jul 24, 2018 10:12:32 IST