Mangaluru, Feb 21, 2017: Raising the issue in the meeting, MLC Prathapchandra Shetty said that inordinate delay in the completion of the proposed Varahi lift irrigation project led to a lengthy discussion in the quarterly Karnataka Development Programme (KDP) meeting held at the Zilla Panchayat office udupi on Feb 20, Monday. All attempts have been made to stop the proposed lift irrigation project. Water has not been released to farmers in the region following pressure from private companies generation of power though water storage is sufficient for ten days. Water is used for power generation.
The drinking water problem is increasing and the delay in the lift irrigation project which was supposed to supply water to a few villages covering Udupi has added to the woes, he claimed. He charged the bureaucrats involved in the project execution are more interested in power generation by the private parties rather than the actual purpose of irrigation and drinking water as proposed at the time of implementation, he alleged.
MLC Kota Srinivas Poojary said the main purpose of the Varahi project is to irrigate the farm land in the surrounding areas besides supplying drinking water to the extended areas. Sixteen tmcft of water is available in Varahi river and it is sufficient for Udupi, he added. District In-charge Minister Pramod Madhwaraj said that the main purpose of the project is to prioritise irrigation and drinking water. The Varahi project executive engineer said that the 679 hectares of irrigation land is irrigated by the left bank canal. Power generation has been stopped as the water level is decreasing. The left bank curve comes after the 26 kilometres from the main dam. The off-take for the lift irrigation at the left bank begins at 33 kilometres and ends at Barkur.
Thirty three hectares of forest land and 28 hectares of deemed forest area.The off-take is for 6 kilometres. If the off-take is for 12 kilometres, the problems of forest and deemed forest area can be prevented. Alignment was approved in 2010. But the project was designed in 1980s, resurvey seems to be necessary due to change in the landmass and increasing habitation afterwards, he added. The minister said he will inspect the spot and go through the whole project work on March 6. After the spot inspection, the minor irrigation minister will be called to discuss the loopholes in the project, he added.
The scarcity of sand and ban on the transport of sand were also discussed in the meeting. As the final verdict is pending on the stay order imposed on CRZ area by the Green Tribunal, the minister directed the officials to brief over the present situation in non-CRZ area.
The Public Works Department executive engineer said in two blocks of sand in Karkala 820 tonnes of sand was extracted and the work was stopped due to poor quality of sand received in the non-CRZ area. In Kundapur, the work is going on in two sand blocks. 2,620 tonnes of sand is extracted. There is stock of 800 tonnes of sand and the price is reduced to Rs 750 as against the earlier price of Rs 960, he added.
Zilla Panchayat member Babu Shetty charged that illegal transport of sand is on in the neighbouring districts. In-charge police superintendent Vishnuvardhan said that constant patrolling is on in the border areas. Assistant Commissioner Shilpa Nag said checkposts have been set up at Shiroor border adjoining Uttar Kannada district.