Aim is to improve the water-table in Chitradurga district
R. Krishnamurthy, District Watershed Development Officer, has said that the Government will spend about Rs. 100 crore in the next seven years in Chitradurga district on water augmentation projects.
Speaking at a ‘mela' organised by the Watershed Department at Turuvanur village in Chitradurga taluk on Friday, he said that the Government had already granted Rs. 34 crore for the first phase of the project.
Stating that groundwater in the district had depleted by about 65 per cent owing to excessive use, Mr. Krishnamurthy said that the perennial drought in the district had compounded the problem.
“In order to increase the water-table and prevent rainwater from going waste, the Government has introduced a seven-year comprehensive watershed management programme in the district. Under this programme, various projects will be taken up to augment groundwater,” he said.
In the first two years of the programme, an action plan to tackle the problem would be drawn up, which would be implemented during the next three years. In the sixth and seventh years, steps would be taken to create assets, which would be subsequently handed over to the respective panchayats for maintenance, he said.
Turuvanur was among the villages where groundwater had depleted alarmingly. Hence, it had been included in the list of villages where the first phase of the project would be implemented.
Gujarat was one of the worst affected States in the country where groundwater had depleted alarmingly. However, watershed programmes had succeeded in increasing the water-table. In Karnataka too, the programme would be successful, Mr. Krishnamurthy said.
Earlier, zilla panchayat president C. Mahalingappa, who inaugurated the programme, urged the officials concerned to ensure that the construction of check-dams and bunds for water storage was of high quality.
He released a brochure containing programmes taken up by the Watershed Department. He also distributed vegetable seeds among women to promote kitchen gardening.
Tippeswamy, Challakere MLA; Basavaraj Soppimath, technical officer in the Watershed Department; and D.T. Shivanandappa, senior assistant director of Horticulture Department, were present.