Staff Correspondent

Ayacutdars in command areas ready to give up summer crops for taking up repair works

Modernisation of the canal needs Rs. 800 crore

TLBC has a command area of over six lakh acres

Raichur: The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) has urged the Government complete the pending modernisation of the Tungabhadra Left Bank Canal (TLBC) from next summer closure itself to improve irrigation potentiality in its command areas.

Even the ayacutdars under the project are ready to give up summer crops this time if the Government firmly decides to implement the recommendations of the H.S. Chiniwal Committee, which envisages the overall modernisation of the canal, including its distributaries and field channels, with an investment of Rs. 800 crore.

Addressing presspersons here on Friday, vice-president of the State unit of the sangha Chamarasa Malipatil said that the TLBC had a command area of over six lakh acres of land in Koppal and Raichur districts. But the normal water supply till the tail-end of the canal had always been affected owing to vulnerable structures found in its upper reaches. The temporary repair works had not helped the purpose.

A report from an expert committee headed by H.S. Chiniwal had been pending at the Government level for the past three years. The committee, in its recommendations, had suggested the Government to implement the total modernisation of the canal by spending about Rs. 800 crore in a span of five years.

But repeatedly, the Government had been implementing temporary measures to plug the leakages in the canal neglecting the recommendations of the committee. Recently, it spent about Rs. 20 crore to repair some identified weak embankments in the canal. But recently, a breach had occurred at its 100th mile stretch near Raichur owing to inferior quality work taken up by the department concerned.