Udupi, Aug 02 2019: With Udupi often facing water scarcity during summer, the City Municipal Council took a decision a few months ago to launch work to remove silt from the Baje dam across the Swarna.
Accordingly, tenders were floated a couple of months ago.
The authorities have now decided to float another tender for a stockyard, geo-fencing of the stockyard and installation of CCTV cameras around the stockyard.
This would ensure that the silt removed from the river, from the Baje dam backwards to Manai Bridge near Bhandaribettu, is transported to the stockyard.
Removing silt from the dam was last done about eight years ago.
Municipal Commissioner Anand Kallolikar told The Hindu that the removing silt from the dam will help increase storage in the reservoir to meet the water needs of the city for about six weeks.
Normally, water level in the dam decreases by April-end and the municipality resorts to water rationing every year based on the quantity of water available in the dam.
This summer (April-June 2019) was the toughest as the municipality divided the city into six zones providing water to each zone once in six days in turns.
It also had to provide water through tankers to houses in the up-lying areas. Besides, the pre-monsoon showers also failed this year.
Hence, there was a clamour to do something to deal with the water scarcity, which has become an annual problem now.
As an immediate measure, it was decided to remove silt from the area behind the Baje dam.
“A meeting of the officers of the Urban Development Cell, Public Works Department, Udupi City Municipal Council and Mines and Geology discussed the issue of transportation of silt to the stockyard and its fencing here on Thursday. Work to both remove and transport silt is expected to begin in about a month-and-a-half,” Mr. Kallolikar said.
Meanwhile, the municipality is also working on a long-term project of lifting water from the Varahi at Bharathkal near Kundapur and purifying it and transporting it through pipelines to the Baje dam during summer.
The Varahi has perennial water throughout the year unlike the Swarna which dries up during the summer.