Udupi, May 10, 2019: MLA Raghupathi Bhat joined volunteers on May 9, Thursday in desilting River Swarna to make way for the free flow of water to Baje Dam in order to supply drinking water to Udupi city.
The ‘Shramadan’ was launched as Udupi town is reeling under an unprecedented water crisis. The ‘Shramadan’ was taken up by volunteers and the MLA, who cleared obstacles over a distance of two kilometres. The accumulated silt had blocked the natural flow of the water for a distance of two kilometres.
Following the MLA’s appeal, volunteers, particularly women, turned up in large numbers and began the work near Baje reservoir. The clearing work went on throughout the day. Bhat had launched a similar initiative in 2002-03 when the city faced an acute shortage of water. The former Udupi district in-charge minister late Dr V S Acharya was also part of the ‘Shramadan’ then.
Bhat said that earthmovers would be pressed into service to remove boulders blocking the flow of water. He urged Udupi residents to join hands in the initiative and ensure the free flow of water from Shiroor to Manai to Bhandaribettu and from there to Puttige. “Two pump sets will supply water from Puttige to the Baje dam,” he noted.
Volunteers arrived with pick-axes and other tools needed to carry out desilting at the site. The city municipal council had installed pump sets in Manai, Bandaribettu and Putthige to lift water from small ponds on the bed of River Swarna in order to restore water supply via pipelines.
Meanwhile, Udupi DC Hepshiba Rani Korlapati and Additional Deputy Commissioner Vidya Kumari visited the reservoir and inspected ongoing upgrades. The dredging work is in progress and water has begun to accumulate in the major pond.