It can be rectified: Assistant Director, Land Army

: The supply of drinking water to Bellary city may worsen much before the summer commences as a portion of the bund, which was being rebuilt with boulders as a temporary measure, has slipped.

Around 160 meters of the bund of Allipur tank slipped on May 11 and work on restoring it was entrusted to Karnataka Land Army at an estimated cost of Rs. 21 lakh. The work commenced in September.

Official sources told The Hindu that the Land Army, in consultation with Srinivasmurthy of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, had laid a material known as 250 GSM non-woven textile cloth and had filled it up with boulders and pitched it. But a portion of the bund, which was being restored, has shrunk.

Surprisingly, no ring bund has been erected near the vulnerable stretch, which according to officials, was a must before taking up the work.

“A void might have been created amidst the boulders and it is not a matter of concern as it can be rectified,” Ashwathnarayan, Assistant Director, Land Army, told The Hindu .

He said Prof. Srinivasmurthy, who has been briefed of the developments, would be visiting the spot this week. “What is being done is only a temporary work. A detailed proposal for undertaking work of a permanent nature, at an estimated cost of Rs. 75 lakh, has already been submitted to the city corporation,” he said.

Allipur tank is one of the two major sources of drinking water to the city. The tank has been designed to take care of the drinking water needs for a period of six months from January to June/July. The tank is filled by pumping water from the high-level canal on the right bank of the Tungabhadra reservoir. The usual practice is that the tank will have to be filled to a height of 7.5 metres before the canal is closed in December.

But because of the slip and delay in carrying out repair works, authorities had stopped pumping water into the tank for almost three months. It was only recently that water was being pumped into the tank.

An official, on condition of anonymity, said with hardly 45 days left for the canal to close, filling up Allipur tank would be very difficult. As on Monday, the water level in the tank has touched the three-metre mark. With 24-hours pumping, the increase in water level would be around five centimetres, he said besides hinting at the severe drinking water crisis even before the summer commenced.