Udupi: No water in city, but Varahi River is flowing to brim in Barkur

Harshini Brahmavar

Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi (MS)

Udupi, Jun 10: The district is witnessing the scarcity of rains that was never seen before. The mercury is rising day by day. Lakes and wells have gone dry. Besides, the administration has failed in protecting the water sources resulting in scarcity of water in the district. Nagaramata vented dam is the best example of poor maintenance. This has a depth of around two feet but the water is tasteless because it is filled with water from Varahi River.

Recently, the silt in the Baje dam was removed under the leadership of MLA Raghupati Bhat. But this cannot be considered as a permanent solution. Many lakes in the district have lost their capacity to preserve water because of the accumulation of silt.

According to the locals, the planks in the Nagarmata vented dam needs to be changed every year. Filling it around with mud will prevent water from getting spilled. Since the contractors of small irrigation department have not done their work, salt and sweet water have got mixed.

"Though the plank had to be changed, the measurement of the new one was not accurate. That is why it could not be replaced. When it rains, this plank is removed. Last year the plank was removed in May. Due to the removal, the nearby paddy fields submerged in water. Owing to the election code of conduct, the panchayat work got affected. The result of this is that the people are having a negative opinion on the panchayat members," says Uday Shetty, member of Barkur gram panchayat.

The same Varahi water is being purified and supplied to this part. There is no water as clean as this anywhere in the district. This is a boon to the panchayat. If Varahi water is being supplied to the city of Udupi, it might cause issues. There are six public wells and eight overhead tanks under the limits of this panchayat. It takes care of the areas around Kacchoor and Barkur. Uphill areas are supplied with tank water. This year backflow has occurred in Varahi due to the late Monsoon.

"Small irrigation department should have put the plank at the end of October. But as there was an alert for a cyclone it was not done. Then the plank was placed in November. This time around, the work has stopped halfway as the plank size is same. A request to put fiber plank was nullified by the department," says Shaila Barkur panchayat president. 

Shaila further said, "We do not have any other source of water. A proposal was sent to build one more vented dam on the border of Barkur-Pandeshwar to the MLA and DC last year. If this dam is built, the salt water flow can be stopped. The sweet water will be available to 700 acres of agricultural land. Considering the gravity of the situation, suitable action should be taken." 

The water from here is also used during the non-monsoon season. During monsoon, the same is allowed to the rivulet. There is no proper arrangement for the water that flows here. The rivulet which is brimming with water now, will overflow as soon as the monsoon starts. The rivulet is under the Vaddarse gram panchayat. and completely infested with pests. There is no one willing to step forward to remove this. A clean source of water of this kind is to be made available to the people of Udupi, especially when the Swarna River is dry. The protection of water resources like this should take place immediately.

The approval has been given for the Rs 270 crore drinking water project for the city of Udupi under the Amrith scheme of the central government. According to the project, the water which is not purified will be brought from Varahi through a pipe to the Baje dam. Once purified, the same will be supplied to Manipal. A decision is also taken to build a purifying plant of 50 MLD capacity at Bharathkal on the Varahi River. This water will be supplied to GLR of Manipal. But, it will take years for this project to get completed. The major concern at present is the issue of scarcity of water which needs to be addressed immediately. The departments concerned should take care not to waste or pollute the water that comes from Varahi.

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Comment on this article

  • cyril mathias, udupi

    Tue, Jun 11 2019

    -,water water everywhere,but not a drop to drink,-Udupi water crises is man made.There are rivers flowing to the brim during monsoon but they are not harnessed properly.It is a lack of planning and vision on the part of the officials and the elected representatives.Water business is thriving and water Sellers are filling their pocket and sharing with the officials?

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • SmR, Karkala

    Mon, Jun 10 2019

    Time and time again I was asking to educate Udupi to elect someone like Manipal Group founder Mr.T Ramesh Pai or Haji Abdullah is the founder president of the Corporation Bank who had a vision for this nation.
    But most qualified people of the state prefer for voting Blue boy and Gun Rani who don't know how to handle the administration.
    The city of Udupi being received the highest rainfall water wows become every year's problem. Poor water resources are one of the biggest problems.
    Like the city of lakes 'Bhopal' elected the terror convict, the Udupi is voters do not vote on the basis of development or policies.
    So the problem is self-invited. Let's marry frogs and wait for the rains.
    Jai Hind

    DisAgree [4] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Mon, Jun 10 2019

    Our Districts are Blessed ...

    DisAgree [5] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

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