Jan 02, 2018: Minor irrigation department has given approval for construction of 53 check dams at a cost of Rs 200 crore to mitigate water crisis in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts.
The government has earmarked a sum of Rs 91.25 crore for Dakshina Kannada, Rs 52.60 crore for Udupi and Rs 56.41 crore for Uttara Kannada districts. In the first phase, 10 check dams in Dakshina Kannada, 114 in Udupi and 29 in Uttara Kannada will be constructed. The work lists were submitted by Mangaluru division of the department.
Proposals to construct check dams to mitigate water crisis in coastal districts was prepared in 2001. The proposal was discussed in 2005 and 2011. However, no measures were taken to implement the project. When there was stiff opposition for the Yettinahole project in Dakshina Kannada district, the state government promised to implement Paschima Vahini project.
Following pressure from the elected representatives of the coastal districts, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, in his budget in 2017, had announced the implementation of Paschima Vahini scheme. Accordingly, the Cabinet gave its approval for works worth Rs 200 crore in the first phase of the project, on December 11.
Under Paschima Vahini project, a series of vented dams or check dams across west-flowing rivers, will be built to augment water during summer. About 53 points have been identified for the construction of check dams under the scheme. Funds have been earmarked separately for the 53 check dams. Accordingly, the officials have been asked to prepare an estimate for the same.
The estimate will be prepared based on the location of the check dam. After getting approval for the estimate, tenders will be invited, said minor irrigation department official. Dakshina Kannada Congress Backward Classes cell president Dharanendra Kumar said the approval for check dams shows the state-government’s commitment for the development of Dakshina Kannada district.
Under Paschima Vahini project, check dams will be constructed in three coastal districts at a cost of Rs 1,394 crore. Accordingly, 202 check dams will be built in Dakshina Kannada at a cost of Rs 554 crore, 406 check dams in Udupi at a cost of Rs 663 crore and 175 check dams in Uttara Kannada at a cost of Rs 177 crore, a department official said