The water level remains at a minimal of 23.44 feet as against the full storage level of 120 feet, the sluices of the Stanley Reservoir at Mettur was not opened for irrigation on the supposed date of June 12, for the sixth year in a row. This is also the 58th time in 83-year history of the dam that it has missed the water release date. Traditionally, the water release period runs from June 12 to January 28. The first time that water was released ‘on the said date was in June 1934. Since then, there have been 11 times when water was released before June 12, and as many as 58 instances when it was released post June 12.
Around 16 lakh acres in the 12 delta districts depend on the dam for kuruvai cultivation, which has been adversely affected for the past three years. On June 12, 2016, the water level stood at 43.98 feet and hence water was not released from the dam for samba cultivation. It was subsequently released on September 20, when the water level stood at 87.68 feet and the storage level stood at 50.39 tmc.
Public Works Department officials said that on Monday, storage at the dam was a mere 5.161 tmc as against the full storage level of 93.47 tmc, as inflow stood at 118 cusecs and discharge at 500 cusecs.
Poor rainfall in the catchment areas and Kamataka’s refusal to release Tamil Nadu’s due share of water had resulted in the storage level dipping to 19.65 feet last month.