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Diverting Netravati water is open to debate: Bommai

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Basavaraj Bommai
Basavaraj Bommai

Special Correspondent

Agency is doing a survey on proposal

MANGALORE: A nine-member committee of engineers, headed by G.S. Paramashivaiah, which submitted its report to the Government on March 23, 2001, had proposed two schemes for diverting the Netravati.

In the first, it had suggested tapping of 90.73 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) of water available in the river to supply it to the 40 parched taluks in the districts of Chikmagalur, Hassan, Mandya, Tumkur, Bangalore Rural, Bangalore Urban and Kolar.

Scheme

The second aimed at drawing 51.73 tmcft of water to 22 drought-prone taluks in Chickmagalur, Chitradurga, Bellary, Davangere, Kolar, and Tumkur districts, besides replenishing the Vanivilas Sagar dam in Chitradurga district.

It is estimated that about 2,000 tmcft of water joins the Arabian Sea from the west-flowing rivers of Karnataka.

In the first scheme, a 150-km canal would run from the Gadigallu Gudda in Karkala taluk of Udupi district to Nishanegudde in Sakleshpur taluk of Hassan district through Kolkallu Betta, Kudremukh, Yelnir, Charmadi, Neriya, and Yettinahole. Another 60 km would start from Suralbi Betta in Kodagu and pass through Kumaraparvata in Sullia taluk and meet the longer canal at Yettinahole.

Under the second proposal, two canals — one of 230-km length starting from Kalkalsubetta in Kodagu district and another 64-km canal starting from Nadahalla in Belthangady — will join at Arasinamakki Gudda, near Yelnir, and further reach the confluence of Samse Hole and the Bhadra.

Final decision

Water Resources Minister Basavaraja Bommai told The Hindu on Tuesday that the Government was yet to take a final decision on the implementation of the project and that the issue was now open for public debate.

A survey was being conducted through the National Remote Sensing Agency, Hyderabad. The cost of the project would be known only after the estimation was done, based on the agency’s survey.

Environmental issues

The Government was aware of the sensitive environmental issues of Western Ghats and the estuaries, he said. The Government would look into alternatives available, such as rainwater harvesting. The Government would also take a holistic view of the concerns of the people of Dakshina Kannada and the water needs of the drought-prone areas, he added.

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