Mangaluru, Nov 08, 2015: The government, keen on implementation of Yettinahole project, had however ignored a prominent scientific analysis submitted by the Kolar district administration in 1997.
The report "Action Research and Revival of Tank System in Kolar" prepared by Kolar district administration through Regional Remote Sensing Service Centre of ISRO had highlighted the need for rejuvenation of tanks in the district. As per the report, there were 4,488 tanks and 88,779 open wells in the district. The report cites neglect of tank system by the government main reason for present dry situation in Kolar district. It also had warned the state government possibility of drinking water scarcity in the district.
There are many problems connected with tanks and their revival. A scientific response backed up by the state of the art technological support is badly needed to try and save the district from the ecological disaster. One pilot tank was desilted (Chatrakodihally) in Kolar taluk. The work was started in October 1992 and completed during April, 1993. The success of this tank work gave an impetus to undertake tank hesitation programme in the entire district. This programme was appreciated by the farmers, top level officers, NGOs, elected representatives and others," the ISRO report stated.
The report points out that majority of the tanks lost their shape, storage capacity, existence, beauty and remain only in memory. The 1997 report also warned the government that if the situation continues, about 50% of the tanks will disappear by the end of 2000 AD.
Organisations fighting against Yettinahole project slam political parties that ruled the state for ignoring a prominent report. Sahyadri Sanchaya convener and Nethravathi Nadi Samrakshana Okkoota coordinator Dinesh Holla said that Kolar district administration had emphasized the need for a scientific approach for the revival of 4,488 tanks.
"The government ignored a prominent report that suggested revival of tanks in Kolar district. Instead of implementing tank revival programmes, the government is implementing Yettinahole project for political and monetary gains. In Dakshina Kannada district, the groundwater table has depleted drastically in the past 10 years. the groundwater table of Mangaluru taluk, which was 9.78 meters in 2004, has depleted to 17.40 meters in 2014. This fact was revealed to media by our deputy commissioner A B Ibrahim. If the situation continues like this, Dakshina Kannada district will face the similar fate of Kolar within 20 years," Holla said and added that Kolar district administration’s 1997 report will be brought to the notice of National Green Tribunal Southern Zone bench, where litigations pertaining to Yettinahole project are being heard.
Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Limited (KNNL) is implementing Yettinahole Project in the Western Ghats region to find solution for the water crisis in Kolar and other parched districts of the state. KNNL has plans to lift 24.01 tmc of water through the project, but activists in coastal districts and Sakleshpur are questioning the authorities regarding its feasibility, possible damages that may be created on Western Ghats and other environmental concerns.