'Desilting of reservoirs is a costly affair'

'Desilting of reservoirs is a costly affair'

 In case of Almatti reservoir, the siltation is up to 5.3 tmcft, in Malaprabha it is 2.79 tmcft, Bhadra -2.1 tmcft, KRS -2.35 tmcft and Harangi - 5.56 tmcft. The projected cost for desilting Tungabhadra reservoir, as projected in the year 2000, was Rs 1,000 crore.

Instead of spending so much money on desilting, it is better to construct a new reservoir, it was felt.

These details were disclosed by Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai in the legislative assembly on Monday. He was replying to a question raised by Dr H C Mahadevappa (Cong).

The Minister said an Italian company has offered hydro cutting technology to desilt tanks in the State. On an experimental basis, a reservoir in Belgaum district is getting desilted. While taking up desiltation, the safety of dams attached to reservoirs have to be kept in view, he added.

Bommai also said the 63 reservoirs in the state have provided irrigation facility to 52,86,042 acres. The annual maintenance of each reservoir per hectare is Rs 600, he pointed out.

Earlier, Mahadevappa said the siltation reduces irrigation facility in command areas. His party colleague T B Jayachandra said Karnataka being an upper riparian state, should find a solution to overcome the siltation failing which it would be losing its share of water. He also suggested the government building balancing reservoirs for the reservoirs which have high siltation.

The Minister said in case of Tungabhadra, four balancing reservoirs to store 10 tmcft of water have been planned.

KRS diamond jubilee

A B Ramesh Bandisidde Gowda (JDS) suggested the government to organise a function to celebrate 75 years of KRS dam. Replying to him, Bommai said in 2008, the dam completed 75 years but no function was organised as there was President's rule. The government intends to replace 16 crest gates besides taking up modernisation work. "The celebrations will be meaningful if the work is completed," he added.

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