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20,000 water bodies have died due to govt apathy: Minister

Bangalore, Augsut 29, 2013, DHNS: 0:58 IST

CM blames engineers for poor quality of buildings

The Kanampalli tank, the main source of water to Chintamani town in Chikkaballapur district, has dried up. DH Photo
Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj H K Patil on Thursday said a study has revealed that at least 12,000 water bodies under his department and 8,000 lakes under the Minor Irrigation department have virtually died.

The minister was speaking at a state-level workshop organised by the Karnataka Engineers' Association at Engineers' Building here. He said the water bodies cannot be restored even after removing weeds. He blamed the government apathy for the poor state of water bodies. He asked the engineers to show their skills to revive the dead water bodies.

Lamenting the poor condition of rural roads, Patil said: “the Rural Engineering department and the Public Works department have 75,000 km and 1,15,000 km roads under them respectively.

The national highways and state highways are in good shape but the problem is with the rural roads. They never last for more than a year. Even today, we are living in medieval era as we still use obsolete technology.”

Patil expressed his anguish over the engineers' passivity to learn new things.
“Engineers today do not have any information about plastic and rubber roads. To enrich their knowledge, there should be regular workshops where latest technologies can be discussed,” he said.

In Gadag, Chitradurga and Bellary at least 600 MW of power is generated through wind energy. “We have almost closed down study and the related research centre at the government level,” said the minister.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah blamed the engineers for the recent incident of building collapse at Someshwara Nagar in Bangalore. “The incident could have been averted if the engineers were alert. The biggest challenge is the inferior quality of works. How is it that structures such as the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Parliament House and the Vidhana Soudha are still standing intact while the newly-built structures are simply collapsing?” wondered Siddaramaiah.

Minister Public Works Dr H C Mahadevappa likened potholes to cancer which kill good roads. He asked engineers to repair roads as soon as they spot potholes.

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