The long-pending proposal to develop an extensive network of vented and saltwater exclusion dams across the west-flowing rivers draining into the Arabian Sea has received in-principle approval of the State Government based on a detailed project report submitted by the Minor Irrigation Department.

Divulging this at a press conference here on Saturday, N. Yogish Bhat, MLA, said that the proposed dams would come up in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts.

A synopsis of the report shared with the media states that 463 vented dams will be constructed in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts, and 321 in Uttara Kannada alone. Another 66 saltwater exclusion dams will be built in Uttara Kannada and 15 in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts.

The issue of concern, Mr. Bhat said, was raising the Rs. 720-crore required for the mega project. “I urge the State Government to forward this proposal to the Centre and avail itself of the provision for 25 per cent budgetary support,” he said. A part of the remaining amount could be provided by the State through budgetary allocation and the rest could be raised through international funding agencies such as the Asian Development Bank.

More In: Mangalore