Kabini water scheme in limbo

Kabini water scheme in limbo

No respite

Kabini water scheme in limbo

The much-ambitious project of bringing water from the River Kabini to quench the thirst of Mysoreans is likely to be delayed due to delay in settlement of compensation to be paid towards acquisition of land from farmers. This project is need of the hour keeping in view drinking water problem being faced by the citizens in many extensions. This problem will aggravate if the authorities concerned failed to resolve the matter at the earliest.

The scheme of bringing bulk water from the River Kabini was the brain child of the Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Board (KUWS&SB) under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM) at a cost of ` 108.81 crore.

Understanding its importance, the Centre approved the project  and the work started on November 22, 2008.

Unfortunately, this project is being delayed as the farmers who would lost their land, are demanding compensation as per the prevailing market price. But, the board is not ready for it. So the issue of compensation has become a bone of contention between the board and the farmers. This has given a feeling whether this project would be completed in 12 months.

The officials are worried about the possible withdrawal of funds being released for this project if the scheme was not completed within the stipulated period. Sources told City Herald that the Mysore City Corporation (MCC) has not given compensation to 12 farmers from whom they have acquired 19 acres of land at Bidargoodu in Nanjangud taluk.

Naturally, the farmers are not ready to allow works till they get compensation. This has halted the work on construction of a jackwell on that land. As per the agreement, the MCC had agreed to pay ` 24 lakh per acre of wet land and `  18 lakh for dry land. The previous Deputy Commissioner P Manivannan had forwarded a proposal to the State government seeking permission to disburse compensation among farmers as per the agreement.

However, that proposal seems to be gathering dust at the government level. Besides, the government had not released its share of 10 per cent towards the project as agreed at the time of agreement. The proposal is said to be pending before the secretary, Department of Revenue. Till the file is cleared, there is no chance of releasing compensation to those farmers as well as continuing the work.

B L Bhyrappa, a councillor representing ward 12 in MCC, who is fighting for the implementation of this project, said the works have slowed down after the transfer of Manivannan and also change of district-in-charge minister. Except the construction of water tanks with a storage capacity of 30 lakh litres each at J P Nagar, Pinjarapole and JP Nagar- Koppalur- Nachanahalli palya areas, no major work has been completed till date. As per the scheme, the board has to lay the pipe for 15 km to bring water to the city. But, till date, pipe has been laid up to only 9 km. The master balancing reservoir reinforcement  works in Vijayanagar, R T Nagar and J P Nagar are under progress. Water from the Kabini would address the water woes of thousands of people in 25 wards. The areas that would be benefited are J P Nagar, Kuvempunagar, all four stages of Vijayanagar, Dattagalli, Ramakrishnanagar and surrounding areas.

The residents of J P Nagar and surrounding areas have been suffering from various ailments because of drinking borewell water. Apart from this, those residents would get sufficient quantity of water, an officer, on condition of anonymity, opined. Convener, Association of Concerned and Informed Citizens of  Mysore (ACICM), M Lakshmana said all efforts to get the decks cleared from various agencies, have fell on the deaf ears. A series of protests and demonstrations held in this connection, are not at all taken seriously by the government. As Mysore is emerging as second destination after Bangalore, more and more people are opting to settle in the city.

Naturally, the housing sector is witnessing a tremendous growth but sans basic amenities. Water being an important component in life is not at all being supplied to more than 40 per cent of the residents. Although, two major rivers-Cauvery and Kapila are located in the district, still the water woes of general public has not been solved. People struggling to collect a potfull of water is a common scene in many parts of the city. As per the statistics, the population of Mysore city is around 17 lakhs. Besides, there is a floating population of another one lakh daily.

In the current situation, the MCC is not in a position to meet drinking water requirements of the population with just 53.5 MGD of water being drawn from the KRS reservoir. But, only 41MGD of water is available because of leakage and water theft. Need of the hour was to make a concerted efforts to get the project completed as early as possible so as to solve the woes of residents. This problem would aggravate further if the elected representatives show lax, opined an official.