Mangaluru, Apr 19, 2017: A check dam constructed across River Gurupura (Phalguni), at Malavur in the taluk was commissioned as part of the project, making it a first-of-its-kind project to be started in the district.DKs, Mangaluru taluk has been declared one of the several drought-hit taluks in the state, but a multi-village drinking water supply project was dedicated on April 18, Tuesday.
Reports quoting details provided by the Department of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation indicates that the project was completed at an estimated cost of Rs 42.5 crore. It will ensure drinking water to a 56,000 people in 66 residential areas of 14 villages coming under eight gram panchayats in and around Malavur. The villages to benefit from the project are Bajpe, Jokatte, Malavur, Kenjar, Permude, Kutthethur, Moodushedde, Padushedde, Thenka Ekkar, Badaga Ekkar, Bala, Kalavar, Surinje and Delanthabettu.
The 199-metre long dam has a six-metre wide well for the jackwell and water purification unit with five MLD capacity, near Kenjar. The capacity of the ground-level water reservoir is 10.15 lakh litres of water. The elevated water tank at Siddartha Nagar has three lakh litres capacity, while at Bajpe Tarikamba it is 2.5 lakh litres capacity.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment B Ramanath Rai said, "A similar ongoing project at Sangabettu is expected to be completed within a week, while the work at Kinnigoli may be prolonged owing to the unscientific works undertaken by a Hyderabad-based firm that had bagged the tender. If the ongoing work at Ulayibettu is completed, we can address the drinking water needs of Bantwal taluk, which also has been declared drought-hit. Two more such projects are sanctioned for the district."
’Water caution’ : Minister Rai called for judicious use of water, with the future certain to bring in burning issues on the drinking water front, which is now being witnessed between different states.
Rajya Sabha member Oscar Fernandes said, "The success of the Malavur water project will be the posit for more such plans, with not many success stories in the past in the undivided Dakshina Kannada district. It will help in recharging the water table and augment water supply to open wells and also borewells."
Earlier, Moodbidri MLA K Abhayachandra Jain recalled the birth of the initiative starting from Rs five crore, that went through various phases before finally becoming a reality. The presidents of all eight gram panchayats then had raised donations up to Rs two lakh each only towards funding the project.
Palemar not invited : Former BJP minister Krishna J Palemar is peeved that no invitation was extended for the inauguration of Malavur dam despite him "playing a major role" in getting funds for the project.
Palemar said it was during his tenure as minister in the BJP government that the then chief minister B S Yeddyurappa released Rs 21 crore for the project. "The Congress leaders are hiding the fact that Malavur dam is BJP’s achievement. They should remember that the work on the dam had come to a standstill till the Yeddyurappa government released funds. The money was released after I submitted a proposal. K Abhayachandra Jain was the MLA then." he said. During Palemar’s tenure as MLA, Rajiv Gandhi drinking water project was implemented in nine gram panchayats.
Palemar lamented that the elected representatives and the officials concerned did not have the minimum courtesy to invite him for the programme, considering his contribution for Malavur dam. He clarified that this is not his party’s stand. While releasing the funds, the government had put a condition that water should be provided to Kandavara, Adyapadi, Kolambe and Gurupura through the dam. But, the present dispensation has violated this condition. Farmers in Adyapadi, who lost their land for the dam, had not been compensated. The government has neither made any efforts to supply drinking water to Mucchur, Neermarga and Ulaibettu villages facing acute water scarcity.