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When clouds refused to open up in Karnataka

Last updated on: July 3, 2009 

When clouds refused to open up

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru
When the rains fail in Karnataka not only does it affect the people of the state but it also has a disastrous effect on its neighbouring states.

Tamil Nadu, in particular, is dependant on the rains in Karnataka and the water share it gets depends on the water levels at the Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) and Kabini reservoirs, located nearly 150 km from Bangalore.

Image: A drying up Almatti dam reveals the grim picture
Photographs: KPN Photos
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A cat and mouse game is on

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So far, Karnataka has received indifferent rains. One could say that rains have been playing a cat and mouse game in the state.

Capital Bangalore witnesses rain in intervals. The worrying factor is that it rains lightly for a day and then there's a break for three days in a row. The case is similar in other parts of the state. In a nutshell, whatever rain the state is receiving is simply insufficient.


Image: People enjoy a rare downpour in Bangalore

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Sunny days in Kodagu, not good news

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People of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have to gear themselves up for some troubled times ahead.

The birthplace of the river Cauvery in Kodagu is not the usual picture it paints. Heavy rains usually start in the last week of May and there was a time when it used to rain continuously for the next four months. However, this year, it stays sunny.

When the situation is grim in the birthplace of the most important river in South India one could imagine the plight in the other parts.


Image: Talacauvery -- Birthplace of river Cauvery

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Farmers' nightmare

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The KRS and Kabini reservoirs too have a sorry tale to tell. The entire Mandya and Mysore belt, which is famous for sugar cane plantation, depends on these two reservoirs. Karnataka, till date, has recorded a little over 135 mm of rainfall -- easily 6 to 7 per cent below the average rainfall it usually receives.

Thanks to this the reservoirs are running almost dry. The water level at the KRS is 72 feet, which means the water level is just 8 feet above the dead storage level of 63 feet. The situation at Kabini is very similar.

Take the Jog falls for instance, the highest waterfall in the state. This area too has had a scarcity of rains and the picture will indicate how less water there is.

Image: A dry spell hits Jog falls

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At God's mercy

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Everyone, including Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, is praying. Yeddyurappa even visited a temple in Tamil Nadu to pray for rains. In Mangalore, students of some government schools have to spend an additional minute during their assembly for the cause.

The met department, however, predicts a better monsoon in the following weeks and people in the state only hope that their prediction does not go wrong this time.


Image: Schoolchildren in Shimoga praying for rainfall during assembly

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