The State Government has finally decided to take up the Yettinahole diversion project at a cost of Rs. 7,300 crore to find a permanent solution to the drinking water scarcity in Kolar, Chickballapur, Tumkur, Bangalore Rural and Ramanagaram districts and fill up minor irrigation tanks to recharge groundwater.
Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai told presspersons here on Friday that it was basically a project to solve the drinking water problems in these districts by diverting the west-flowing river in the Palar-Pennar Basin. While all the minor irrigation tanks in Kolar and Chickballapur would benefit by the project, a few tanks in Bangalore Rural and Tumkur would also receive water.
He said that 24 tmcft of water would be diverted and stored in a valley identified in an area between Tumkur and Sira. Yettinahole is one of the tributaries of the west-flowing river and as per an estimate, the cost of the project is likely to be Rs. 7,300 crore. The Irrigation Department was preparing a detailed project report.
In another major development, the Government had also decided to strengthen and modernise the “Maharaja Anecuts”, including Chamaraja, Madaramantri Virle, Hemagiri, Nandigiri and Ramaswamy Nale, all more than 300 years old. These irrigation canals were in a bad shape and their water conveyance efficiency had come down drastically.
He said that the Government had allocated Rs. 300 crore for modernising and strengthening these canals. The modernisation of the distributary canals of the Visvesvaraya Canal will be taken up at a cost of Rs. 230 crore. The modernisation and strengthening of the Vivesvaraya Main Canal have been completed.
Mr. Bommai told a questioner that the Government had decided to take up the modernisation of the Narayanpur Left Bank Canal (NLBC) at a cost of Rs. 400 crore and this year, Rs. 230 crore had been earmarked for the work.
He said that this year the work of strengthening select reaches, which reported frequent slippages and seepages, would be taken up. This would help improve the conveyance efficiency of the NLBC. To end the dispute of overdrawal by the different branch canals from the NLBC, the Water Resources Department has decided to install volumetric measurement system near the gates at the distributary levels to measure the release of water from the NLBC into Jewargi, Shahapur, Mudgol and Indi Branch canals.
To a question, Mr. Bommai said that the department has been allocated Rs. 10,500 crore in the budget for this year which was 20 per cent more than the previous year's. Apart from this, the department proposes to spend Rs. 800 crore under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme in Krishna Basin.