Guntur: With flood inflow going beyond anticipated levels, irrigation authorities have opened four crest gates of Nagarjuna Sagar several hours prior to the expected schedule on Friday. Officials decided to open the flood gates soon after the water level touched 580ft to let out water into the downstream Pulichintala project.
Irrigation engineers had originally planned to open the gates late night Friday. But keeping in view the inflow from Srisailam, officials were forced to revise the decision and open the gates Friday afternoon itself. This is the second consecutive year when water has flowed out of the Sagar project.
The water level at Nagarjuna Sagar touched 583ft against the full reservoir level (FRL) of 590ft on Friday morning. The project is receiving 4.5 lakh cusecs water from Srisailam which is expected to go up to 5.5 lakh cusecs by Friday night.
Sagar project authorities were initially expecting an inflow of around 3.5 lakh to 4 lakh cusecs from Srisailam over two days. However, with the water level at Srisailam touching the FRL of 885ft, authorities have already opened 10 gets to release 5 lakh cusecs downstream.
The sudden surge in inflows has pushed up the water table at Sagar project where around 294tmc water has already filled the dam against its full capacity of 312tmc. “We are releasing 50,000 cusecs to Pulichintala which is likely to go up in the next few hours as inflows from Srisailam are also going up,” said a senior irrigation official.
A high alert has been sounded in Guntur and Krishna districts following the release of water from Nagarjuna Sagar to Pulichintala. Although the Pulichintala project has only 20tmc water now, it is likely to reach its full capacity of 45tmc in the next 24 hours once the outflow from Sagar increases to four lakh or five lakh cusecs.
Once the Pulichintala project fills with water, the additional water flow coming from the upstream Krishna basin will go into the sea via Prakasam Barrage as there are no other storage points downstream of the Pulichintala project.