Storage capacity cannot be increased without acquiring 387 acres

After spending Rs. 20 crore, and another Rs. 55 crore in the pipeline, the new vented dam under-construction across the Nethravati at Tumbe may have almost no impact on the water supply to the city.

Though the vented dam will be at an increased height of 7 metres, its water storage will remain at 4m as the land adjacent to it has not been acquired, said officials at the review meeting of the Mangalore City Corporation here on Tuesday.

Minister in-charge of the district B. Ramanath Rai presided over the meeting.

For the full storage capacity to be effected, 386.75 acres of land needed to be acquired in Pannemangalore, Munnur, Naricombu, Bantwal Muda and Kallige villages.

However, as the process had not yet begun, Deputy Commissioner A.B. Ibrahim, said: “With the new Land Acquisition Act taking effect from Wednesday, it will be nearly impossible to acquire the land needed.”

At 7m of storage height, the dam was to store nearly 14730 million litres – or around three times the existing capacity – of water for the city. In order to salvage the project, Mangalore South MLA J.R. Lobo asked officials of the Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWSDB), who are executing the project, to consider a technical report that estimated that nearly 2m additional storage of water could be obtained if the rivulets were manned by smaller vented dams.

Slow progress

KUWSDB officials said the civil works on the project will be completed by May, after which the installation of mechanical gates would start. Currently, however, the civil works have progressed by just around 56 per cent, with 15 out of the 29 piers yet to be constructed (the foundations of three of which have not yet been laid), said officials. The progress will also be hindered if the government doesn’t release the remaining Rs. 54.53 crore.

MCC Commissioner Ajith Kumar Hedge S. told the District in-charge Minister Mr. Rai that several areas were receiving lesser water than promised because of 22 unauthorised connections – in Adyar, Velachil, Farangipete areas – on the water line from Thumbe to the city. Ullal, for instance, he said, was getting 1.6 MLD instead of the 2.5 MLD desired.

Asking for a meeting to be conducted with the Gram Panchayats, Mr. Rai said, “The policy of the government is to ensure that water is provided to the villages through which any water pipeline passes.”

Mangalore: While the MCC claims that 95 per cent of potholes have been filled on major roads, officials said works for filling potholes on minor roads will start soon.

Under the first phase, 89.78 km of road was to be made pothole free at a cost of Rs. 1.87 crore. Of this, 7.28 km is yet to be filled, officials said. Under the second phase, an action plan of Rs. 15 lakh per ward for upgradation of roads, and Rs. 2.45 crore for filling potholes on minor roads has been sent to the State Finance Department. The proposals should soon be approved, said officials.

More In: Mangaluru