The water levels in dams across Maharashtra have shown a sharp increase of 3.10 per cent in the last four days. The increase is attributed to Cyclone Gulab, which has resulted in incessant rains across Marathwada, parts of Vidarbha, North Maharashtra, Konkan and Western Maharashtra.
Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil has directed officials to closely monitor and regulate the water levels in dams.
According to sources in the water department, on September 27, Maharashtra’s dams were filled up to 77.72 per cent. This means of the full capacity of 40,604,000 million litres, water storage in the state’s dams was 31,557,770 million litres.
On Friday, October 1, the dam water levels increased to 80.82 per cent, or 32,817,800 million litres.
The water level in the biggest dam in drought-prone Marathwada, Jaikwadi, rose from 83 per cent to 99 per cent within four days due to the cyclone and rains. As a result, all 27 gates of the dam were opened Thursday to discharge water. The water discharge was 90,000 cusecs.
The regulation of water level in Jaikwadi dam in Paithan taluka of Aurangabad district is crucial for flood control. The water is used for irrigation of agricultural lands and supplies drinking water to the region.
The other dams in Marathwada which crossed 100 per cent due to excessive rains include Majalgaon (Beed); Manjara (Beed); Lower Terna (Osmanabad); Yeldhari (Hingoli); and Lower Dudhna (Parbhani).
The highest water level increase of 5.79 per cent was seen in dams in the Marathwada region — from 66.01 per cent to 71.80 per cent.
The Vidarbha region recorded moderate water level rise in dams. The water level in dams in Amravari division increased by 3.39 per cent. It increased from 78.78 per cent to 82.17 per cent in four days.
In Nagpur division, water levels increased by 3.55 per cent, from 72.37 per cent to 75.92 per cent in same four-day period.
In comparison, Pune division in western Maharashtra was less at 2.03 per cent. The dam water in this region, which was already higher, increased from 83.63 to 85.66 per cent.
Several dams in western Maharashtra crossed 100 per cent capacity and were overflowing. This includes Panshet, Khadakwasla, Temghar, Pawana, Mulshi, Bhamaaskhed, Chaskamam, Warasgaon, Neera Deodhar and Gunjwani.
The coastal Konkan region, which was worst-hit by cyclones Nisarga and Tautkae a few months ago, was impacted a third time by Cyclone Gulab. Konkan dam water levels recorded a 3 per cent increase from 88.80 to 91.80 per cent.
North Maharashtra region dam waters increase by 2.12 per cent from 75.49 to 77.61 per cent.
However, the Godavari river flowing through Nashik in north Maharashtra was flooded as a fallout of intense rains. Several dams which were overflowing included Nilwande, Bhandardhara and Mula in Ahmednagar; Waghur in Jalgaon; and Gangapur, Kadwa, Bhamdam, Palkhed, Waghad and Upper Vaitarna in Nashik.