Mangaluru, April 13, 2017: With a view to improve the weak groundwater levels on a war footing, the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat has taken up ‘Jaladhara’ programme, which aims at construction of a possible vented dams and water sources. The step gains significance in the wake of acute water shortage in the district.
Zilla Panchayat CEO Dr M R Ravi said that the groundwater level in the district is at an alarming rate. “Puttur taluk, with 95% exploitation rate of groundwater, is the worst. Belthangady and Bantwal taluks, with 68% and 66% respectively, are on the verge of danger. Hence, there is an urgent need to recharge groundwater. Construction is an effective way to achieve the same, based on the demographic conditions of the district,” he insisted.
“Under ‘Jaladhara’, at least five vented dams will be constructed in each gram panchayat. There will be 1,150 vented dams in 230 gram panchayats in the district – 290 vented dams are proposed for Bantwal, 240 for Belthangady, 275 for Mangaluru, 205 for Puttur and 140 for Sullia. A total of 291 crore litres of water can be collected in all the taluks,” the CEO gave a calculation.
“The ‘Jaladhara’ programme has been effective from March 2017 and an estimation has been prepared for 352 works, out of which 210 are in progress. The programme is expected to be completed by March 2018. Further, the programme is linked to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). This is expected to generate 20,000 jobs,” the ZP CEO said, adding that Rs 2.32 to Rs 5 lakh can be utilised for a vented dam and a total of Rs 43 crore of MGNREGA funds will be utilised for the programme.
Phase 2: Under the second phase of the ‘Kere Sanjeevini’ programme, development of 139 lakes has been planned in various gram panchayats of the drought-affected Mangaluru and Bantwal taluks. The Zilla Panchayat has sent a proposal to the state government seeking approval for the works and also sanction of funds to the tune of Rs 15.82 crore.
“Forty lakes in Mangaluru taluk (including Moodbidri) and 99 lakes in Bantwal will be developed. Funds of Rs 8.17 crore have been estimated for Mangaluru and Rs 15.82 crore for Bantwal. A proposal in this regard has been sent by the Zilla Panchayat to the Principal Secretary of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department of the Government of Karnataka in February. The funds are expected to the released shortly,” said Dr Ravi.