As Kabini reservoir level touched rock bottom and is left with less than 2.5 tmcft of water, Irrigation Department officials are planning to stop supplying water to Bengaluru and Mysuru to save thousands of elephants and other wildlife in Kabini backwaters.
Around 5,000 jumbos, thousands of deer and sambars and hundreds of tigers and other animals depend on the backwaters for water.
With no other option, the authorities have decided to stop the release of water from the reservoir for a couple of days as scarcity of water may force jumbos to turn towards nearby fields, leading to man-animal conflict and crop loss.
However, the Irrigation Department, which is left with water for just one month will release water from KRS to Bengaluru and Mysuru from the next week.
Though the weatherman predicted that monsoon will set in by the first week of June, any further delay will lead to water scarcity in both Mysuru and Bengaluru, sources said.
Kabini reservoir level stood at 2,246.09 ft as against the maximum of 2,284.50 ft on Tuesday. However, the reservoir level was 2,262.50 ft during the previous year with 13.5 tmc ft of water.
But, the irrigation authorities said their hands are tied as they are left with only 3 tmcft of water in the reservoir.
Irrigation south chief engineer Shivashankar said they are forced to close the crest gates of Kabini to save the wildlife and check man-animal conflict in HD Kote and Nanjangud areas.
He hoped that monsoon will set in on time to bail out people. “Mysuru may be affected more if the Kabini reservoir level does not go up soon,” he added.
Delay in monsoon showers will also affect neighbouring Hassan as Hemavathi water level will slip to dead storage in a couple of days. The reservoir level was 2,863.35 ft against the maximum of 2,922 ft The reservoir level was 2,868 ft during previous year.
Pre-monsoon rainfall in Bandipur, Nagarhole
Rain lashed Bandipur and Nagarhole national parks recently and water has been stored in more than 300 man-made ponds which came to the rescue of the wildlife, sources said.
As there is no rain in Tamil Nadu and in the Wayanad region of Kerala, jumbos are concentrating on the Kabini backwaters which has water and greens patches.
Reservoirs have water to meet demand till mid June
Irrigation Dept to release water from KRS to B’luru, Mysuru
Thousands of elephants, wildlife depend on Kabini backwaters
Reservoir levels have touched rock bottom in Cauvery basin
Irrigation Department has
banned farmers from growing paddy, sugarcane
Pre-monsoon showers bring relief to the wildlife in Bandipur, Nagarhole
‘No water for crops’
Mysuru: District Irrigation Department authorities, worried over monsoon failure and moderate rain in the Wayanad region of Kerala, have decided not to release water to crops. The irrigation consultative committee meeting has prohibited farmers from growing paddy and sugarcane and gave top priority to meet drinking water needs in Bengaluru and Mysuru. Farmers of Kabini achukat are unhappy with the irrigation department’s blanket ban from growing paddy or sugarcane.