Heavy rain, but no water in ponds

Encroachment and clogging of inlet canals obstructing water flow to the tanks

impeding flow: Slush deposited in a Raja Kaluve that carries water to the tanks in Kolar. dh photo

Ammarahally tank, Kodikannur tank and Amani tanks in the City have not received much water despite the recent downpour. The encroachment of Raja Kaluve - the inlet canals that bring water to the tanks, is the principal reason for water not reaching these tanks. Clogging of these canals due to silt deposit has also contributed for this phenomena.
While water is not supplied to the City from these three tanks, the people are dependent on the tanks for groundwater. Brimming tanks would recharge the groundwater table and thus increase the waterlevel in borewells.

Clogged canals
Shatashrunga hills adjoin all these three tanks and the rain water that fell on the slopes was reaching the tanks through Raja Kaluve. However, water has not collected in the tanks this year, despite copious rains. Kolar taluk has recorded a rainfall of 211.4 mm as the last week of September. It had rained 116.8 mm during this period, last year. The taluk has received a total rainfall of 497.4 mm so far while the normal rainfall is 360.3 mm. The total rainfall was 682.7 mm last year. In spite of abundant rains, water has not collected in the tanks owing to the clogs in supply canals.

With more than 1,700 tanks, Kolar has the distinction of the district with highest number of tanks. A project to recharge as many as 1,050 tanks was taken up under Jalasamvardhana  Yojana in the year 2005. However, owing to improper implementation of the programme, the work on desilting the tanks has not been completed. Citizens are questioning the rationale of attempts to recharge the waterbodies in view of depleted groundwater table.

Directions not acted on
The government has issued clear directions were issued years ago to construct percolation tanks and rain water harvesting structures at all government buildings, schools and colleges, in order to improve the groundwater level. The order, however, has remained only on paper.
Tanks and ponds, the age-old waterbodies constructed with ancient wisdom are the prime sources of water. Any laxity in their maintenance would spell disaster on the water front. The district may face severe drought if attempts are not made to deslilt the tanks, clear encroachment of inlet canals and scientific methods to recharge the groundwater are not initiated.

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