The delay in the implementation of the Paramashivaiah Report on the utilisation of water from 11 west-flowing rivers for drinking as well as irrigation by districts in South and Central Karnataka came under attack at a public meeting here on Sunday.
The report, submitted in 2006, recommends utilisation of 334.7 tmcft water of the 2,448.19 tmcft water generated in the rivers for the benefit of people in Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Tumkur, Ramanagaram, Chickaballapur and Kolar districts, among others.
Angry over the continued wastage of water from the rivers that flow into the seas, members of the Shashwatha Neeravari Horata Samiti and representatives of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) and the Hasiru Sene urged the State government to take steps to implement the recommendations.
Speaking at the meeting, one of the committee members Chowdappa said that though crores of rupees had been set aside in the budgets for irrigation projects, efforts have not been made to the implementation of the Paramashivaiah report. “Even if 10 per cent of this was allocated for implementing this report, it would help overcome problems of the people to a large extent,” he said.
Some of the members said that it was time that they reduced dependence on the State government. One of the members, Mr. Nagaraj’s announcement of Rs. 10 lakh contribution for the project was greeted with enthusiasm by the committee members.
They said that farmers have been holding protests in Kolar and Bangalore Rural limits and particularly in Chickaballapur which has been going on for the last 66 days, but without any positive response.
The implementation of the report will help generate 84.98 tmcft water for Ramanagaram district through the river valleys of Arkavati, Kanva and Shimsha, according to a statement released by the committee.
The members also stated that irrigation for more than 2.5 lakh acres of land could be made available from the 793 lakes in the district.
Stating that groundwater level had depleted, they said an estimated 40,000 pumpsets too had dried up in the command areas.