Special relaxation to DK, Udupi, as water table dropped last year

Barring two schemes, the State Level Scheme Sanctioning Committee has approved three multi-village water supply schemes, all in Bantwal taluk, in Dakshina Kannada.

With this the uncertainty hanging over the schemes has ended, as the committee had earlier turned down the proposals.

H.V. Nanjeshaiah, Executive Engineer, Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat, said two schemes were pending to be approved due to “minor technical reasons”. He hoped they would also get the green signal as those reasons were being addressed.

The three schemes approved on January 24, 2014 were for Mani and seven other neighbouring villages, Sangabettu and 16 other villages and Karopady and four other villages nearby. The estimated cost of the projects was Rs. 70.35 crore. Water from the Nethravati would be lifted for the projects, he said.

Mr. Nanjeshaiah said tender (bid) documents for the three projects were ready and were awaiting approval from the Chief Engineer of the Rural Development and Panchayatraj (RDPR).

The Executive Engineer said the three projects would supply water to 214 habitations under the jurisdiction of 20 gram panchayats covering a population of 1.30 lakh.

He said two more schemes, one for supplying water to Narikombu and four other neighbouring villages and Sarapady and 11 other villages nearby, all in Bantwal taluk were awaiting approval with the committee.

Uncertainty

Earlier, uncertainty dogged the projects after the committee returned the proposals to the State Technical Agency (STA) 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 the 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.

But the STA in its meeting on October 28 decided to recommend to the committee once again to sanction the projects by considering it as a special case. It was because water table in Dakshina Kannada suddenly went down between January and May 2013 due to its soil conditions. As a result, borewells supplying water to the villages proposed under the schemes faced scarcity forcing the panchayat to supply water through tankers.

Mr. Nanjeshaiah said the committee has cleared the three projects by giving special relaxation to Dakshina Kannada and Udupi.

He said the committee has also given approval for the supply of water to ten villages from the existing Malavoor vented dam in Mangalore taluk across the Phalguni. It would supply water to 61 habitations.

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