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Cauvery is only a revered name

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A PICTURE OF TRANQUILITY: A file picture of the Cauvery at Dubare in Kodagu district.
A PICTURE OF TRANQUILITY: A file picture of the Cauvery at Dubare in Kodagu district.

Jeevan Chinnappa

It is a symbol of munificence in Kodagu

  • There is no project in Kodagu to utilise the Cauvery waters
  • The district bears the brunt whenever the river is in spate

    Madikeri: Cauvery is a revered name in Kodagu. People do not see her as an object of dispute nor crave for exploiting her bounty. They do not utilise Cauvery water for drinking, though its origins are at the foot of Brahamagiri hills in the district.

    From the "Brahmakundike" at Talacauvery, she enters the earth stealthily, re-emerging as a small stream at Nagateerta. She flows down and makes her appearance at Bhagamandala, joining Kannike and Sujyoti rivers, to form the confluence.

    There was a proposal to tap the Cauvery for drinking water supply to Madikeri, from Betri, 21 km from here. But the project is hanging fire for political reasons.

    Except for renovation of temples at Bhagamandala and Talacauvery, the Cauvery Neeravari Nigama has no plan to utilise the river water for irrigation or drinking purposes in the district.

    Losses

    Kodagu suffers extensive loss whenever the river is in spate. Areas are marooned, road links cut off and the district plunges into darkness because of heavy rains and gale. Cauvery showers her benevolence on others.

    There are no check dams and lift irrigation schemes across the Cauvery anywhere in Kodagu.

    The Cauvery is still a source of religious inspiration and a symbol of munificence here.

    Loss of catchment area along the Cauvery in Kodagu may not be alarming as it is made out to be.

    Denudation of forests

    Destruction of water resources, forest catchments and aquifers is looked upon as a crime, a form of terrorism.

    Some had pointed out that cultivation of "bane" lands had destroyed forests. Truth is that "bane" is not a full-fledged forest.

    If cultivation has taken place, it has led again to regeneration of greenery and water conservation.

    Coffee plantations and others account for over 30 per cent greenery in Kodagu, taking it to over 60 per cent in all.

    Rainfall pattern

    Rainfall pattern in Kodagu has changed drastically over a period of years.

    Average rainfall received by Kodagu in 1984-85 was 3,076 mm. In 2004-05, it was 2,720 mm. Fluctuations were there in between.

    In 1985-86, total rainfall was 2,094 mm, a lower trend, which continued till the early 90's. Rainfall showed signs of picking up in 1994-95 when Kodagu received 3,711 mm and again in 1997-98 with 3,361 mm.

    In isolation, Bhagamandala, Talcauvery and "Karta Kund" areas nearby receive the heaviest rains, which account for good inflow into the Cauvery. Madikeri receives over 3,000 mm of rainfall every year but drinking water shortage crops up every year.

    Water ingression capacity of the soil has come down drastically with evaporation and run-off accounting for the depletion of water table.

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