Waste amid abundance of water in KGF

Rain fills up Bethamangala reservoir but goes waste from the breached Shivsagar tank

The Bethamangala reservoir which was facing a water crisis for the last seven years witnessed a sudden flow of abundant water due to heavy rains caused by Cyclone Nilam.

The water level in the reservoir, which is spread across about one thousand acres, has now risen to a significant level. The small lakes and ponds in the surrounding areas have also filled with water.

Bethamangala is a reservoir and a water pumping and filtration station. The entire Kolar Gold Fields gets the water supplied from this place.

In the early days of gold mining in Kolar Gold Fields water was pumped out from the underground and other groundwater sources. As the population of Kolar Gold Fields continued to grow, the natural water source in the form of Bethamangala lake was found to be most feasible. Bethamangala is located on the banks of Palar river, located five miles South East of the city.

John Taylor and Sons Company lobbied the Mysore government to provide clean potable drinking water for the population in Kolar Gold Fields from the Bethamangala water source. Accordingly, in 1903, a huge manmade tank in Bethamangala was created to supply filtered water to Kolar Gold Fields.

Two huge reservoirs were constructed to store and supply a million (imperial) gallons a day to the mines in Kolar Gold Fields.

The Jewell Export Filter Company of New York was given the contract to supply and install the necessary fittings and equipment at the plant, for the complete purification system.

The reservoir which had been supplying water for over a hundred years, stopped the supply of water in January this year due to a complete decline in the water levels.

Every day 13 lakhs gallons of water was being supplied to the town. A severe drinking water crisis arose with the declining water levels in the reservoir. People had to buy water at Rs 2 per pot.

According to Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board Assistant Executive Engineer Raghunathaiah Shetty said with the increase in inflow of water will be supplied to the town very soon.
An instance of water going waste due to breach in the bund has been reported.
The bund of Shivsagar lake (Tippanettikere) in Marikuppam grama panchayat was breached seven years ago. Since then the villagers have been requesting the authorities to set right the breach in the tank.

However, the villagers alleged that the technical division of the zilla panchayat neglected to repair the breach in the tank. As a result despite heavy rains and the accumulation of water, it is going waste at the breach point. The water from four other smaller lakes flow into Tippanettikere. However due to the breach, the water is going waste flowing over some of the neighbouring fields.

The lakes coming under Marikuppa Survey No 144 is spread over 22.23 acres. The irrigated areas of these lakes cover hundreds of acres in the villages Kambapalli, Gollahalli, Maskam and Marikuppam. The waste of water has depressed the farmers of these village.

There was a direction from the Chief Minister and the Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Department. However this has not helped these villagers. When the lake was full seven years ago, there was water in the borewells of the surrounding areas. However, the failure of the authorities to set right the breach even after seven years had put the villagers in the lurch.

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