Six multi-village water supply projects proposed to be launched in Dakshina Kannada may become a reality despite the uncertainty surrounding them following a negative report by a high-level government committee.

The State Technical Agency (STA) has decided to recommend the State Level Scheme Sanctioning Committee, the high-level government committee, for the second time to sanction the projects.

Uncertainty dogged the projects after the committee returned the proposals to the agency asking it to review them. The committee was of the view that Dakshina Kannada did not require multi-village water supply projects as the district received an annual average rainfall of 4,000 mm. and hence did not face a water scarcity. In addition, the multi-village water supply projects were meant to those districts where source of drinking water was highly contaminated with contents like chloride, arsenic and other hazardous components. Dakshina Kannada is said to be relatively free from such hazards.

According to S. L. Sathyanarayana, Executive Engineer, Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat, which had mooted the proposal, the STA in its last meeting on October 28 decided to recommend the committee once again to sanction the projects by considering it as a special case.

Mr. Sathyanarayana said the agency again decided to apprise the committee that water table in Dakshina Kannada suddenly went down between January and May due to its soil conditions. As a result borewells supplying water to the villages proposed under the scheme faced scarcity forcing the panchayat to supply water through tankers. Under the scheme, five projects had been designed to supply water from the Netravathi and one project from the Phalguni (popularly called Gurupur river).

The Executive Engineer hoped that with the STA firmly backing the proposal, the committee might not reject it.

Once the committee approved the projects the proposals would go for administrative approval and later bids would be invited.

He said the five proposed projects supplying water from the Nethravati would cover villages under the jurisdiction of Sajeepamunnur, Karopady, Narikombu, Mani, Sangabettu, and Sarapady gram panchayats in Bantwal taluk.

The project proposed to lift water from the Phalguni would cover 11 villages — Malavoor, Kenjar, Moodushedde, Padushedde, Bajpe, Jokatte, Bala, Permude, Tenka Ekkar, Badaga Ekkar and Kalavaru — spread across seven gram panchayats. For this project water from the upstream of existing vented dam across the Phalguni at Malavoor would be lifted by drilling a jack well either on the river or river bed. A 22-km. pipeline would have to be laid connect 11 villages.