Encroachments on 1,955 tank beds cleared in a year

The government has reclaimed 4,944 hectares of land by clearing encrochments on 1,995 tank beds across the State in a year, Minor Irrigation Minister Govinda Karjol said here on Saturday.

The minister, who was in the city to inaugurate the three-day Zilla Utsav, told reporters that encroachments on 69 tanks in Bangalore Rural, 110 in Tumkur, 45 in Ramanagar, 55 in Chikkaballapur, 70 in Hassan, 62 in Haveri and 38 in Davangere districts have been cleared so far.

Karjol stressed the need for conserving water resouces, explaining the gravity of the situation. Of the 3,479 tanks maintained by the Minor Irrigation Department, only 28 tanks are full and 1,415 tanks are dry. The focus of the Department is to conserve tanks and their catchment area spread over 4,12,868 hectares.

The efforts so far made by the Department has yielded good results. The extent of catchment area has increased by 1.20 lakh acres and groundwater table too has been recharged by constructing barrages and check-dams. Bangalore has been left with only 140 out of 271 tanks and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike has been entrusted with the task of maintaining them. 

So far, only Rs 100 crore-Rs 400 crore has been allocated in the State Budget for the Department and this year, a memorandum has been submitted seeking Rs 1,000 crore, the minister said.

Classical status

Classical status accorded to Kannada has enabled the Kannada and Culture Department to take up activities for promoting the language, said Karjol, who is also Kannada and Culture minister. Kuvempu Bhasha Bharati has taken up translation of the major writers of Kannada to English and other languages.

Besides, Basavanna’s vachanas will be published in 13 volumes at a cost of Rs 60 lakh. The 11 State universities have been given Rs two crore each, he added.

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