Udupi, May 06, 2017: Speaking at a meeting held to discuss the scarcity of water in Udupi town due to high evaporation of water in the Baje reservoir, the Udupi District In-charge Minister Pramod Madhwaraj has directed officials to be on high alert and take up rationing of water to tackle the acute shortage of water in town.
The Udupi minister said that the town is experiencing drought like never before. "The officials should be available to address the grievances of public 24x7 and the water sources should be increased. As many as 35 officials are appointed to monitor the distribution of water either through tankers or by pipelines. It is observed that the available water can be distributed only till May 20. Water supply should be taken up on priority and most importantly the water supplied should be checked for hygiene. Water is drawn from wells and borewells. The Health Department should be involved. The quality of water allocated should be optimum and the distribution should be up to the mark," the minister ordered.
Minister directed that the town wards should be divided into A, B and C categories to supply water as per requirement. "The A-category should include areas that suffer from acute shortage of water, while B should comprise of the areas that suffer from manageable water scarcity. Under C, the areas that has minimal water scarcity should be included. Dredging should be continually done. Besides, the number of tankers should be increased," he explained.
Environment engineer Raghavendra said that the water is dredged from Shiroor riverbed to Mane to Bandarubetu. It flows into Puttige Bridge and from there to jackwell. The water at the Puttige stream was used for five days and now is pumped from ponds in the riverbed at the Shiroor Mutt area. There are 15,700 houses, of which 200 houses are offered water exclusively through tankers.
Executive engineer Ganesh said that for one hour, 2,000 litres can be drawn. "Attempts are made to manage till June 5 by taking up rationing for once in three to four days. Pumping would be reduced to five hours. Up to 100 lakh litres of water are required. A total of 8-9 lakh litres of water can be offered using 80-90 tankers. One tanker contains 12,000 litres of water. There is requirement of 24 MLD water and tanker water can substitute only one MLD water. Currently, 10 MLD is being offered in a day and there is need for 300 MLD of water in a month," he explained and added that evaporation level is high.
Madhwaraj said the proposed plan of Swarna 3rd stage at Shimra at a cost of Rs 102 lakh under the Karnataka Urban Development and Coastal Environmental Management Project (KUDCEMP) is undergoing feasibility test. "The project should help store water for at least 110 days. A plan to lift water from the Varahi River is also being envisioned, as the river is perennial. Funds of Rs 80 lakh are allotted for multi-village drinking water schemes, which can be merged with KUDCEMP funds to take up the Varahi irrigation project," he added.
The members supported the idea of initiating Varahi project against the Swarna 3rd stage as the latter would not be feasible. A hydrological survey would be taken up and also cost effectiveness monitored. .
Water quality in tankers to be checkd: Udupi District In-charge Secretary Maheshwar Rao has instructed the officials to thoroughly examine the quality of water supplied through tankers. At a review meet held, the district in-charge secretary said that following acute shortage of water, tanker water supply has become inevitable, however, the quality of water should be checked repeatedly owing to the high evaporation rate of water in the water bodies and the unhygienic conditions.
"The projects taken up under the Amrith Yojane especially the UGD construction works should be completed at the earliest. Pipe wells and the bore wells should be covered and fenced adequately. The areas should be identified to construct anganwadis and hostels in the district. The Health Department officials to take precautionary measures to curtail the spreading of malaria and dengue in the district," said the secretary.
He said that the reports on various projects taken up by the task force under the multi-village drinking water should be submitted and the pipe wells burrowed under Ganga Kalyana Yojane should be electrified at the earliest. "The officials should send proposals for the funds required for the new projects to be taken up. Elaborate programmes could be initiated through Agriculture, Horticulture and Industrial Departments, the official should plan accordingly," Rao suggested.