KARNATAKA

Plan to rejuvenate catchment areas of three valleys unveiled

The State Government has prepared an elaborate plan to rejuvenate the catchment areas of the Arkavathi, Kumudavathi and the Hessarghatta valleys to ensure an adequate rainwater flow to the Hessarghatta and the Tippagondanahalli reservoirs. Work on the Hessarghatta valley will commence shortly.

A high-level meeting of officials of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board and the Department of Water Resources, chaired by the Minister for BWSSB, Katta Subramanya Naidu and the Minister for Water Resources, Basavaraj Bommai, was held at the Secretariat on Wednesday to augment the drinking water supply to the northern localities of Bangalore served by the Hessarghatta and the Tippagondanahalli reservoirs which generally dry up during peak summer.

While the detailed project report ( based on satellite imagery and foot survey) for the Hessarghatta valley is now with the Government, the reports for the Arkavathi and the Kumudavathi valleys rejuvenation plan are under preparation and will be with the Government in about a month.

Around Rs. 8.5 crore will be spent for the rejuvenation of the Hessarghatta valley and apart from cleaning up the canals leading to the valley, the authorities will also remove all encroachments including agricultural farms which have come up without the permission of the revenue authorities.

Briefing presspersons on the discussions, Mr. Bommai said the rejuvenation of the two valleys will result in a quantitative improvement in the storage in the two reservoirs in another two years while in about a year it will improve the groundwater table.

The Hessarghatta, Arkavathi and the Kumudavathi valleys are rainfed and according to the study while rainfall in the region has been about the same every year, the water impounded in the reservoirs has drastically reduced over the years for various reasons. The catchment area of the Hessarghatta valley encompasses 602.72 sq km, the Kumudavathi 464.56 sq km and the Arkavathi is 381 sq km.

Mr. Bommai said the State Government had also sought the preparation of a feasibility report to draw 9 tmcft of water from the west-flowing Yethinhole (a rivulet) in Chikmagalur district for supply to Chickballapur, Kolar and Bangalore Rural districts. It will be a piped-water supply scheme to the three districts and is tentatively estimated to cost Rs. 6,500 crore. If need be, the State Government will also seek the views of an expert technical committee to pump water from the same source to Bangalore. This will tantamount to drawing water from the Western Ghats region and diverting it to the Pennar basin, while Bangalore city forms part of the Cauvery basin.

The Water Resources Minister said the preliminary plan for this project will be followed up with a detailed report on the alignment, survey and cost estimation. The requisite water will be first pumped to a head and will thereafter flow by gravitation to the three districts, unlike the Cauvery water to Bangalore which is pumped all through from Torekadinahalli.

Asked about an earlier plan to pump water to Bangalore all the way from the Alamatti dam across the Krishna, Mr. Bommai said the plan had been shelved, given the long distance.

Rs. 8.5 crore will be spent for rejuvenation of the Hessarghatta valley

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