Mangaluru

‘Firms can produce power after Dec. 10 only if there is surplus inflow into rivers’

Mangaluru City Corporation, K.G. Jagadeesha, Deputy Commissioner and Kumar, ADC, at a meeting convened to discuss water scarcity in Mangaluru on Saturday. — Photo : H.S. Manjunath  

All the companies that produce hydro power by drawing water from major rivers — Netravati, Kumaradhara and Phalguni — in Dakshina Kannada can generate electricity after December 10 only if there is surplus inflow into the rivers. Deputy Commissioner K.G. Jagadeesha, who is also the District Magistrate, passed this order at a meeting here on Saturday.

The order also states that they should store water in their respective dams to the full capacity by December 10. If there is no inflow, they could generate power by drawing stored water only if the Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada permitted it, the order added.

Mr. Jagadeesha conducted the meeting to take precautionary measures to face drinking water issues in the district in the coming days. The meeting was especially convened to mitigate water scarcity in the city after it faced acute shortage of water supply this summer.

The Deputy Commissioner said that the Department of Minor Irrigation should close the vents of all its 228 vented dams in the district by the end of this month so that water can be stored in all dams from December 1.

Storing water in all the dams would help in recharging the groundwater table and would meet the drinking water demand of the surrounding areas, he said.

Mr. Jagadeesha said that the Executive Engineer of the Minor Irrigation Department would be made the nodal officer to supervise water storage in all the dams, including those built by private companies, periodically. If private companies generated power by violating the orders of the Deputy Commissioner — by drawing water from the storage when there is no inflow without permission— the nodal officer would be equally held responsible, he added.

The DC asked the major industries — MRPL, MCF and IOCL — to keep their annual shut down for maintenance for April so that water used by them from the rivers could be diverted for drinking purpose.

He said that the three major industries cannot be made to shut down completely as the products they manufacture are used by the public in their day-to-day activities. But industries would have to concentrate on making maximum use of recycled water, he said.

He said that water from the rivers should not be drawn from January for growing food crops, like paddy, as it required a lot of water. However, horticultural crops, like arecanut, would be exempted. “Life saving irrigation will be permitted provided they use sprinkler and drip irrigation systems,” he said.

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