Varathamanathi dam full as ghats see heavy rains

MADURAI: With the northeast monsoon intensifying in the Western Ghats, many dams in southern districts have nearly reached their full capacity. The latest joined the list is the Varathamanathi dam located near Palani in Dindigul district, which started overflowing on Monday.The dam, smallest in Dindigul district, reached its full storage capacity of 110.90 mcft 10 days ago. At present, 25 cusecs water is being discharged from the dam through three channels, said Assistant Engineer, K Nagaraj of Water Resources Department at Nanganjiyar Basin Division.Of the overflowing quantum, 20 cusecs will be used to meet irrigation needs of 1,500 acres of direct ayacut and the remaining five cusecs will be diverted for drinking water needs of Ayakudi town panchayat.The official added that when the flow from the dam fills all 18 system tanks, the required amount would be discharged from the dam. Meanwhile, the Kumbakarai falls in neighbouring Theni district was witnessing a heavy flow due to heavy rains last week. As a safety measure, the district officials have banned bathing activities at the falls, sources said.Heavy rain was witnessed in parts of Thoothukudi district, including Kulasekarapattinam and Sathankulam, in the last few days. Fishing operations were suspended on Monday in the district following the weather warning by the fisheries department, said RJ Bosco, secretary, St Patrick Deep Sea Fishing Mechanised Boat Owners Association. Bosco said only less than hundred boats among the total fleet of 267 venture into the sea during monsoon as it is considered as off-season. However, Monday turned out to be a dry day in most of the areas in southern districts.






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