This tank can become a great tourism place

Kandavara

The Kandavara Tank in Chikkaballapur. DH photo

The Kandavara tank, the ancient well in Kandavara and the dried up well in Ambedkarnagar are prime examples.

The district, never surplus in water, is facing increasingly dry summers over the past few years. The tanks, the ancient wells and the kalyanis (wells attached to temples) have all been neglected and have gone dry. Although the water harvesting structures were the source of irrigation and drinking water in the past, the profusion of borewells over the last decade or so made the people forget their critical utility.

Neglect

It is indeed disheartening that activists agitating for a permanent solution for the water problem for the Chikkaballapur and Kolar districts seem to be hung up on the unrealistic and mindboggling proporition of bringing water from across the western ghats rather than the easier, realisable and even cost-effective way of providing water security for the two districts - reviving the tanks, ponds, wells and kalyanis.

The Kandavara Tank is surrounded by weeds, shrubs and trees. The area lacks any sign of developmental activity having been undertaken. The wells near Kandavarapet and Ambedkar Nagar are unused for several years. People pass by the wells every day, but do not bother to cast a glance in the direction.

Encroachments cleared

The district administration recently carried out de-silting of the Amani Gopalakrishna Tank near Shidlaghatta and Amani Tank near Manchanabele. It also cleared encroachment of the tanks. Although it has claimed to undertaken development of all tanks within the administrative limits of the Taluk Panchayat, it has had to face opposition in a few places with regard to clearing encroachments.

As much as 58 acres of the area in which the Gopalakrishna Tank is located is encroached. In the Manchanabale Tank area too, 31 acres of land is encroached, said officers. “It would be a good idea to develop the spacious area around Kandavara Tank into a park,” advise the citizens.

If the area is de-silted, the tank can even be converted into a reservoir. There are mud heaps surrounding the tank, like mini-hillocks. It would be interesting to view the Kandavara tank from there. Boating on the tank too can be permitted.

“This will only help the district administration develop a tourist spot. Instead of viewing Chikkaballapur as a district of problems and in a state of underdevelopment, it can be converted into a place that attracts people with its natural beauty,” they suggested and added that although such measures cannot be implemented overnight, they can be taken up gradually.

The matter of development of the Kandavara tank had been brought up in the recently conducted emergency meeting of the Town Municipal Council. There were members supporting and opposing conversion of the tank into a reservoir.

Later, however, no action was taken and no further mention was made on whether the Kandavara tank would be converted into a reservoir or a tourist spot.

Environmentalists felt getting water from sources in other districts would take a long time. There might even be hurdles in implementing such measures. Until the irrigation project is implemented, measures should be taken to preserve the water tanks and wells in the district and even develop them.

“In our enthusiasm about getting water from a distant place, let us not forget our own sources of water,” they reminded.

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