After 12 years, the Vaigai dam has touched its maximum level of 71 feet following which the PWD engineers decided to release 2139 cusecs of water considering the safety of the dam on Monday.
In 2008, the dam had touched its maximum storage level and since then, the water level had not crossed the 60-feet mark on many occasions. Due to poor monsoon, the water storage had either revolved around 60 feet or remained less than that level, officials said.
This season, the water storage level has been steady since the north east monsoon. Subsequently, the water level increased during the rainfall in December and on a single day, the inflow was high and two feet increased within about 24 hours.
As the level reached 66 feet, the first flood warning was issued. With copious rain in the region, when the level reached 68.50 ft and 69 ft respectively, the second and third warnings were given. On Monday, the engineers said that they have released 1200 cusecs in the river and another 750 cusecs in the canals.
Normally, the PWD engineers released the water when the storage level reached 69 ft. However, this time, since many of the tanks had good storage of water, it was decided to hold the water in the reservoir till it touched the maximum level. On Monday morning, the water level recorded 70.39 ft with an inflow of 2,352 cusecs and discharge of 2,139 cusecs.
Built during the late Kamaraj regime, the Vaigai dam had so far touched the maximum storage level on five occasions. In the last time in 2008, when it touched 71 ft, the water was released into the Vaigai, PWD officials recalled.
Expressing satisfaction, the farmers in the region said that they would have no issues for irrigation and the officials also hoped the good storage should ensure no problem for drinking water for Madurai city during this summer.