Visvesvaraya's dream project fails

Visvesvaraya's dream project fails

The Srinivassagar tank, which represented the dreams of the distinguished engineer, Sir M Visvesvaraya, as a showcase of proper water resource management has finally failed, with the drying up of the lake.

Visvesvaraya took up the project 70 years ago, envisaging it as a means to adequately irrigate fields in surrounding villages.

The Diwan (Prime Minister) of the erstwhile Princely State of Mysore is said to have laid a condition before Visvesvaraya, stating that water from the tank should be used solely for irrigation needs.

But a senior citizen of the area said that the decree has since been lost to the vagaries of time. “No one has come forth to confirm the decree,” he said.

Consequently, the tank, which is situated between Chikkaballapur and Gauribidanur taluks, became a major source of irrigation in the nearby villages. The tank, when filled to its brim, also becomes a place of recreation for farmers’ children.

Long distance

Lakshminarasimhaiah, a retired employee said that Visvesvaraya had planned the tank with impressive foresight and sense.

“Water which overflows from the tank would join the Uttara Pinakini that flowed through Gauribidanur to Andhra Pradesh. When Visvesvaraya planned the tank, he had thought that it would benefit farmers of both  states. As per his plan, a wall was built on a large boulder to store the water. Water used overflow on the walls,” he said.

The farmers built barrages across the canal to supply water to their fields. “Now, the tank has dried up, rendering Visvesvaraya’s ambitious project a failure and dashing the hopes of farmers,” observers said. District administration, Forest and Tourism departments have come together to chalk out a plan to rejuvenate the tank.

“They need to, however, clear some encroachment before taking up the project. Later, they can develop it as a tourist spot,” said a resident, Abhishekh Seetaram.

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