Chanthar tank awaits new lease of life

Chanthar tank awaits new lease of life

The water body can be a good bird sanctuary, locals

A view of Chanthar tank near Brahmavar. The tank spreads over 35 acre land. DH Photo No efforts have been taken to revive such tanks which were once source of drinking water.

Several historic tanks with its natural surroundings are in deplorable condition. One such tank is situated at Chanthar near Brahmavar in Udupi taluk. Though the government has sanctioned Rs 5 crore for the development of tanks in Udupi district, none of the elected representatives are keen on developing Chanthar tank.

According to Crossland College History lecturer Prof K K Gurumurthy the tank is 500 to 600 years old. The copper plate inscription which dates back to 1445 BC of Vijayanagara reign speaks of water distribution from the tank. It writes of distribution of water among Mallappa Shetty and Somappa Shetty. At present, the copper plate is at a museum of Barkur Moodukeri Somanatha Temple.

The tank spreads over 35 acres land and once full, this tank attracts large number of people because of its beauty. The tank is surrounded by ‘Garadi,’ sacred groves and temples.

It is believed that Chyavana seer was meditating in this region and hence the region was named as Chanthar.

Unfortunately, such a historic tank is neglected by the elected representatives and the Zilla Panchayat. The irrigation department had undertaken the work on desilting two to three years ago. However, locals feel that there was misappropriation of fund in the desilting work.

At the same time, desilting at the cost of Rs nine crore must have been undertaken in the tank. In the past, the tank was filled with water throughout the year but now, owing to the lack of maintenance, the tank gets dried in January and February itself.

If continued to be neglected, the tank will soon become a plain playground for the children or place to grow vegetables by the farmers.  

“If the silt is removed from the tank, then it can provide water to farmers of Handadi, Matpadi and Chanthar. It will also increase the ground water level in the region,” say the local residents. Kunjal and Chanthar panchayats have dug wells inside the tank and are supplying water to hundreds of houses. Unfortunately, one well collapsed during the last monsoon and hence water is now being supplied from one well. The locals feel that tank can be developed as a bird sanctuary as hundreds of migratory birds visit the tank every year.