Karnataka to install RTDAS to monitor water dispersal system
In a major relief to Maharashtra, the Karnataka government is all set to set up Real-Time Data Acquisition System (RTDAS) at its Almatti and Narayanpur dams to monitor the water dispersion system and prevent floods in western Maharashtra, like the one that had happened in 2019.
Maharashtra water resources minister Jayant Patil after a meeting with Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa at Bengaluru described the talks as positive. “The talks were very positive. Maharashtra already has a real-time data acquisition system. Once Karnataka installs it at Almatti and Narayanpur dams, then it will help to control the flow of water,” said Patil. “We will be able to jointly dynamically control the water flow. It will help to gauge how much water to disperse and the water levels to be maintained,” he added.
The RTDAS installed seven years back provides precipitation real-time data which helps to gauge and control the water levels and plan better water release mechanism to prevent floods during the monsoon.
In 2019, the backwater of the Almatti dam caused flooding in Kolhapur and Sangli districts, causing large scale devastation with 60 persons losing their lives. The dam did not release water at the right time, leading to the accumulation of water in its backwaters and the Krishna river that flooded parts of Kolhapur and other districts in western Maharashtra.
The situation can be gauged from the fact that National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, and other agencies were tasked with the rescue operation. The flood also damaged agriculture and allied activities substantially.
Maharashtra had alleged that it was Karnataka that was responsible for the floods due to its failure to release the water. The then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had to face large scale criticism for his failure to tackle the situation as it was reported that Yediyurappa was not acceding to his requests to release the water. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar had to intervene and talk to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It was only after that Karnataka started releasing water giving some relief to Maharashtra.