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Soil mafia leads to demise of a useful pond

Krishnamurthy Kolar Gold Fields:Nov 25, 2012 DH News Service 23:59 IST

Unlicensed trench in Kammasandra tank leads to water loss; inflow also prevented

digging deep: (Left) Earth movers and tractors engaged in extraction and transportation of earth from a pond in Kammasandra, on the outskirts of Kolar Gold Fields. A trench dug out without licence near the pond has led to loss of water from the tank. dh photos
Several ponds and lakes, large and small, were full to the brim after copious rainfall experienced by the town recently after seven years.

Unfortunately, due to the negligence and wrong decision of the gram panchayat officials, pond and lakes in Kammasandra could not retain water which went waste.

Kammasandra, which is about five kilometres from Kolar Gold Fields is famous for its Kotilingeshwara temple, where over two lakh devotees visit the temple on Maha Shivaratri every year. Kotilingeshwara is the presiding deity of the temple of the same name in Kammasandra village.

Shivalingas

The temple houses 108 ft tall Shivalinga and 35 ft tall Basava. Kotilingeswara has a collection of number of Shivalingas spread over an area of 15 acres.

More than 80 lakh of such Lingas have already been installed here since 1974. These icons are installed by the devotees to seek the blessings of the lord. The entire project involves the installation of one crore shivalingas of various sizes, hence the name ‘Kotilingeshwara’.

A large lake in this village was enable to retain the water which flowed into it during the recent rains as an artificial breach was deliberately created as a result of which water went waste.

Despite this abundant waste of water, the officials did not take any initiative to set right the breach in the pond, the villagers allege.

Since long the people of the village desire that the pond be revived as a pushkarni (temple pond). Of the two pushkarnis existing in the village, one has already disappeared.

Therefore the villagers decided that this pond should be made into a pushkarni. The president and many members of the grama panchayat has supported this decision.

However, the villagers have alleged that the officials have failed to implement this proposal as they have colluded with mafia engaged in transporting the soil from this pond.

Good quality white soil is available in this pond for which there is a good demand in the neighbouring regions. For a long time illegal transport of soil has been going on and the panchayat officials have been mute observers to this rampant transport of soil.

Pond revivals

Recently the deputy commissioner in a move to conserve water in the district has directed that all pushkarnis, presently without water, should be repaired.

However, the pond in Kammasandra was deliberately breached and the water was allowed to flow and go waste besides the inflow of water was also blocked. Even the area of the pond was reduced by encroachment. As a result the storage capacity of the pond has declined considerably.

Once this tank is full, the water is enough for the whole year. However, at present it has become almost dry.

The villagers allege that while all the ponds and lakes in the neighbouring areas are full and have led to the increase in the groundwater level, the Kammasandra pond has benefitted only the soil mafia.

Kammasandra Grama Panchayat president says that the people had volunteered in clearing the pond. However, the illegal breaching of the pond has not come to our knowledge, she said.

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