Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi (HB)
Pics: Umesh Marpalli
Udupi, Feb 16: District-in-charge Pramod Madhwaraj made his annual visit to Baje dam to examine the water level contained therein, on Thursday, February 16.
Addressing media persons, Minister Madhwaraj said, "The current water level is 32 cm lesser than last year. It will be sufficient only till the end of April. The rationing of water will start soon to manage possible scarcity. And if we get rains in April, people will not face water shortage. The city municipality should take all measures to curb wastage of water. The inflow from Shiroor dam too is very low."
"Drinking water shortage is not only there in Udupi, but can be seen everywhere. Rs 102 crore have been released to Udupi district under KUNDSEMP project to build many overhead tanks and improve the distribution line here." he added.
“It is important to have a stable supply of electricity to maintain the same capacity of water that is being pumped. There is an 800-km long distribution line for water supply. For refilling the pipeline, we need 1.5 lac litre of water. If the line gets drained due to power shortage, it takes 16 hours to refill it," explained the minister.
Minister Madhwaraj instructed the MESCOM officials to ensure 24 hours electricity supply or make substitute arrangements for the process to go on unhindered. "They also plan to draw an 'express coder line' (power connection) from Manipal, as would be an alternative for the present connection from Hiriadka," he said.
In addition to this, the minister said, “There is a proposal, to build a dam at Shimbra, with ten overhead tanks for increasing efficiency in water supply. Eight additional overhead tanks are to be built for better water management. Before constructing the dam at Shimbra, a hydrological survey will be conducted, following the survey a DPR will be prepared and tenders called."
Addressing complaints of locals about stoppage of water supply to agricultural fields, the minister said, "As per the irrigation project, priority is given to drinking water. People also asked for de-silting of the Shiroor dam water. If that happens, the water will only last for five days. Besides, the water body too will get contaminated. Alternatives will be sought for April. The officials will work in the best possible way to provide water for the people."
Local farmer Kudi Srinivas Bhat said, "The municipality had cut off dam water for irrigation from January this year. The concerned department did not focus on water storage during monsoon. The Baje dam has 4.7-meter water level and the new Shiroor dam has 1.2 meters deep water, though water leaks out due to poor construction. Nearly 68 famers out of 70 have installed 350 HP pumps, to lift water from Baje dam. Of which 75 pumps sets were kept unused. Our demand is to release the dam water twice a week until March and once a week April onwards, for irrigation. An awareness programme about water should be held for the public."
Manjunathayya, CMC commissioner, Udupi, Meenakshi Madhav Bannanje, president, Janardhan Bhandarkar, nominated member and others were present at the addressal.