Karnataka's Krishnarajasagara Dam on river Cauvery is full - and is a cause for celebration. The water has reached the full height of 124.8 feet and a maximum outflow of 80,000 cusecs have been recorded in the last few days.
There have been successive years of drought in Karnataka - and it has been years since the dam reached the full level - and even longer since it became full as early as July. When it fills up, the chief minister of Karnataka performs puja at the 4 dams on the river as a gesture of thanksgiving. The puja is called 'bhagini'.
And chief ministers who are able to perform bhagini would consider themselves fortunate - abundant Cauvery water means so very much.
Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, who has been in power for not even two months, performed the puja at the KRS Dam on Friday.
He told NDTV, "Actually I am a very relieved person now because for the last several years there was no water in the dams. Even then, brothers and sisters of our neighbouring state are demanding water. We are facing severe shortage of water for the last several years but even Tamil Nadu has not got sufficient rain. I know that."
Mr Kumaraswamy was referring to the century old dispute between Karnataka and neighbouring Tamil Nadu over sharing of the Cauvery water. The river originates in Kodagu in Karnataka, flows through southern Karnataka and then through Tamil Nadu into the sea. But there is enough water to go around this year.
Mr Kumaraswamy said, "This time, all our Cauvery basin reservoirs are full now. For the last 15-20 days we have been spontaneously releasing the water."
At times of scarcity, no water is released for irrigation at all but only for drinking - making things difficult for farmers. That was the position last year but this year, things have changed. "We have also released water for irrigation. For the last three years they have not been able to cultivated paddy crop. This time, I have directed my farmers - go ahead for paddy cultivation," the chief minister said.
"In Tamil Nadu they have also decided to release water for Kuruvai crop. By god's grace the problem between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka was solved by nature without any disturbance, any quarreling. I am grateful to the nature for that," he said.
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