State's water requirement increasing, says Minister Bommai

“Karnataka is a water deficit State. If we do not take action now, the situation will aggravate further,” Minister for Water Resources Basavaraj Bommai said on Sunday.

Speaking at a function organised to lay the foundation stone for the rejuvenation of the Arkavathi at Hesarghatta near here, Mr. Bommai said that the water requirement of the State had been increasing.

If the initiative to rejuvenate the Arkavathi succeeds, it would not only help address the irrigation needs of farmers in the surrounding areas but also meet the water requirements of Bangalore, Tumkur, Chickballapur, Chitradurga and Kolar.

Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Union Minister for Corporate Affairs M. Veerappa Moily, the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and Home and Transport Minister R. Ashok were present at the foundation stone-laying ceremony.

Mr. Sadananda Gowda hoped that the project would be completed in a year and sought the support of the people. He hoped that the project will bring to an end the water shortage in the area and promised full support of the Government for the early completion of the project.

According to M.A. Sadiq, managing director of Cauvery Neeravari Nigam, the Government sanctioned Rs. 22.43 crore for the project in October 2011. Mr. Sadiq said that the river, once the lifeline of this area, went dry as the groundwater table depleted on account of indiscriminate drilling of borewells.

The project seeks to essentially identify the feeder streams leading to the river and remove silt from the streams to ensure free flow of water to the river, besides removing all encroachments in the river course.

Highlighting the water problems in the State, Mr. Yeddurappa emphasised that water problems need immediate attention.

Mr. Moily also urged the State to set up a task force to monitor the process every fortnight. He said that he would ask the Union Government to support this project.