The Amanikere, one of the largest irrigation tanks in Tumkur district, has now become a dumpyard. Photo by S V Upendra Charya Amanikere: A lifeline no more

Occupying about 500 acres, Amanikere is one of the largest irrigation tanks in Tumkur district. Situated in the backdrop of hillocks, Amanikere attracts passersby on Tumkur-Sira road.

For rain-dependent farmers in the region, Amanikere has been their lifeline. It is known to attract a variety of migratory birds every year during nesting season. The Wild Life Nature Awareness Club of Tumkur is said to have identified about fifty species of migratory birds in the surroundings of Amanikere.

For people of congested Tumkur, Amanikere is an important lake, a precious lung space, but it has been in an awful condition over the years.

Almost dried up, Amanikere is now being increasingly used for dumping garbage and construction debris.

However, all is not lost for the tank. Environmentalists and farmers from surrounding villages and residents of Tumkur have joined hands to save the shrinking and stinking Amanikere. In Tumkur, even school children and college students are said to be doing their bit to save the lake. 

According to officials of the Water Resources Development Board, be it tank-bed encroachments or contamination of water bodies, the existing laws have adequate provisions within them, that ensures officials address these issues.

What then is stopping authorities from preventing contamination of Amanikere, wonder residents of Tumkur.

S V Upendra Charya

Celebrating the tender coconut

An Eleneer Mela (tender coconut mela) was held in Tiptur taluk’s Biligere a couple of months ago. Apart from celebrating the many uses of the tender coconut, the mela was also a way of instilling self-confidence among coconut growers in the region, and bypassing the menace of middlemen.

The mela discussed the problems of coconut growers in the state. The participants also came to certain conclusions, that is now being called the Biligere Declaration. Accordingly, participants concluded that the tender coconut should be declared a national drink. Rare strains such as Gangapani should be conserved, they felt. They also sought the setting up of processing units, apart from provision of the tender coconut to school students. Stress was also laid on the setting up of tender coconut marketing centres, which would wipe out middlemen. Though there are such centres in Arasikere and Mandya, they have not been of much use, points out Eleneer Mela organiser Krishnamurthy Biligere.

Following the mela, a permanent tender coconut marketing centre has come up in Biligere. As many as 40 to 50 farmers are selling tender coconuts in the co-operative model.  

Ramesh Sogemane

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