`Nugu project flawed'

MYSORE JUNE 26. A member of the Kallambalu Gram Panchayat, Vivek Cariappa, has termed the Nugu Lift Irrigation Project "economically irrational".

Mr. Cariappa, who is also a progressive farmer, said the estimated cost benefits of the project were flawed. Citing an example, he said even if the required 9 MW of power was made available for the project, it was an enormous burden for a power-starved State.

He also noted that the power allocation for H.D. Kote taluk was between 4 MW and 4.5 MW. Under the Nugu project, water would be pumped from the Kabini to the Nugu Reservoir during the monsoon, when it was rarely needed, he said.

Mr. Cariappa noted that the project was conceived based on studying the rain pattern over the past five to six years.

Works on the Taraka Lift Irrigation Project, which started 27 years ago, were yet to be completed. "It is more appropriate to finish a project which is nearing completion rather than begin a new one," he says. Questioning the change in the original plan, Mr. Cariappa noted that according to the original plan, a canal was supposed to be dug from the Kabini backwaters near Hegnur to the Nugu in Kandilke hobli area. This would allow the water to flow by gravity, which would make the project economical.

He said if the Government decided to proceed with the project, the local farmers of Puradakatte and surrounding villages should be allowed to use water flowing through their land for irrigation.

He demanded that provisions be made towards this effect in the initial project plan.

According to Mr. Cariappa, farmers in many villages under the Kallambalu Gram Panchayat, especially from Halasur, Nettgalhundi, Kundru, and Chamalapura villages, will benefit from the project.

The officials of the Irrigation Department have said that the lift irrigation project has been designed to augment water storage in the Nugu Reservoir as inflow into the reservoir has reduced over the years.

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