Councillors seek clarity on Varahi river water situation

January 30, 2018 07:25 am | Updated January 31, 2018 03:25 pm IST - UDUPI

Farmers have been demanding release of water in canals of the Varahi Irrigation Project in Kundapur taluk of Udupi district. FILE PHOTO

Farmers have been demanding release of water in canals of the Varahi Irrigation Project in Kundapur taluk of Udupi district. FILE PHOTO

The issue of getting water from the Varahi river to meet the drinking water needs of the city figured prominently in the general body meeting of the Udupi City Municipal Council (CMC) here on Monday.

During the presentation of the CMC’s annual budget, council president Meenakshi Bannanje said a ₹270-crore plan had been drawn up to get water from Varahi river from Bharatkal in Kundapur taluk to the Baje dam, about 22 km from Udupi, so that the CMC would get 42 million litres of water a day (MLD) during the four summer months. The foundation stone for this project was laid three weeks ago, she said.

M.R. Pai, councillor, said there was opposition from the Halady Gram Panchayat from where the CMC wanted to lift Varahi waters. The GPs en route would oppose it and even the taluk panchayat and local MLC, Pratapchandra Shetty, have opposed it. “The plan has not been drawn up properly. But we support getting water from Varahi,” he said.

Intervening, CMC Commissioner D. Manjunathaiah said he was present at the meeting of the Halady GP. The GP members had felt that it would disturb a road which connected Halady to two other GPs, but their concerns were clarified, he said.

The CMC requires 36 to 37 MLD of water during the summer. But the Swarna river, from where drinking water was supplied, went dry during summer, he said.

Dinakar Shetty, councillor, said that perhaps it was better to get water from the Varahi through the canals. Mr. Manjunathaiah said the experts had gone through the entire matter and water would be lifted from Bharatkal and supplied through pipelines to Baje, where it would be purified.

The GPs en route needing water could draw the raw water. The CMC requires Varahi river water only during the summer and not through the year, he added.

P. Yuvaraj, a councillor, said if there was so much demand from the GPs en route, a separate pipeline for them should be considered.

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