KARNATAKA

`Mysore will not face water scarcity this summer'

MYSORE, MARCH 24. Allaying fears of water scarcity in the region during this summer, the Managing Director of Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd., T. Thimme Gowda, said here today that the storage position in the Krishna Raja Sagar reservoir is relatively better than last year.

Addressing presspersons, Mr. Thimme Gowda said the water level in the reservoir was 85.48 ft. today against 71.60 ft. during the corresponding period last year. Likewise, the live storage level is 5.04 tmcft. and if water is used judiciously for drinking and irrigation, there will be no drinking water scarcity in Mysore, Mandya and Bangalore, he added.

Conservation

Mr. Thimme Gowda said the nigam has taken steps to promote water conservation and the reservoir level is being maintained by strictly following the "on off" method while releasing water into canals. The authorities have mooted the idea of establishing "Krishi Brahmanda" in all villages of seven districts coming under the jurisdiction of the nigam. Conservation methods will be demonstrated. The nigam is promoting alternative cropping techniques to discourage farmers from taking up water-intensive crops during summer. They will be encouraged to cultivate maize and other crops that need not much water. This will not only help conserve water but also prove beneficial to farmers, as maize is commercially remunerative.

Mr. Thimme Gowda said there are signs of farmers realising the importance of water conservation and the efforts by the nigam have been well received in many areas.

Referring to the violation of the cropping pattern by farmers in the Cauvery command area, Mr. Thimme Gowda said such a violation is being noticed in other parts of the State also. The Government is planning to adopt the "Maharasthra model" to curb it. The nigam will launch a series of programmes to promote water conservation. The Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, will inaugurate a programme at Kalamandira on Saturday.

The programmes will be held as part of the World Water Day celebrations, he said.

Plan

He said the authorities concerned have conceived a plan to conserve water that leaks from canals. A project in this regard will be taken up on a priority basis and will include removal of silt from canals. The focus of all programmes will be on judicious and efficient use of water and recharging the water table. Rainwater harvesting will also be taken up to help conserve water. Farmers will be trained in water conservation methods through electronic media and satellite communication. Theatre groups will be used to create awareness on the importance of water conservation, Mr. Thimme Gowda said.

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