Staff Correspondent

Tanks in drought-hit taluks have dried up

  • People have been agitating for the last 15 days
  • It is proposed to fill up 19 tanks

    DAVANGERE: People of over 100 villages in the drought-hit taluks of Jagalur and Harpanahalli have been agitating for water through the Rajanahalli Lift Irrigation Scheme. They have been staging agitations since the past 15 days to pressure the Government to approve the project and include it in the Budget.

    People of these villages have been put through a lot of hardship owing to the non-availability of potable water as tanks, which are the only source of fresh water, have dried up.

    The people say many of them have been suffering from diseases owing to the constant use of water that has a high fluoride and nitrate content. They say if 19 tanks were filled with water from the Tungabhadra it would go a long way in solving their problem.

    The Government in 1998 had approved the project and it had sanctioned Rs. 60 lakh to carry out preliminary works. But the Government did not release the amount for the project and it was shelved. Elected representatives including Davangere MP Siddeshwar and Jagalur MLA Gurusiddanagowda have taken part in the agitation and assured the people that they would impress upon the Government to approve the project. Not satisfied by the assurances, the protestors are continuing their struggle in their bid to impress upon the Government the need for the project. An indefinite strike is under way in which people of all villages are taking part in everyday.

    A preliminary investigation report was prepared and submitted by the Minor Irrigation Department and according to the report the project costs Rs. 100 crores. The project envisages filling up over 19 minor irrigation tanks. Once all these tanks are filled up, bore wells would get recharged and there would be enough water for human and animal consumption. It is proposed to fill up 19 tanks including the one at Hebbal, Halavarthy, Kandanakovi, Anaji, Tuppadahalli, Anagodu, Kogganur, Honnur, Siddanur, Tumbigere, B.G. Halli, Igoor, Naraganahalli, Kodaganur, Sultanipura, Nerlige, doddarangavvanahalli, Kabbur and Agasanakatte.The total achakat of these tanks is 1,731 hectares. It is proposed to lift water from the Tungabhadra through the lift irrigation project near Rajanahalli village from where it will be led to the Hebbal tank. Once the water is fed to the Hebbal tank, through gravitational force it will fill up the remaining tanks.

    The agitators are firm this time and they say they will not give up their struggle till the Government approves the project and includes in the Budget.

    The agitators say Suvarna Karnataka celebrations would be more meaningful if the Government sanctioned more projects.