Barrage at Jakribettu may affect storage capacity of Thumbe dam

MSEZ has violated 18 terms and conditions laid down by the government

The construction of a barrage across Nethravathi river at Jakribettu in Bantwal taluk by Mangalore Special Economic Zone Ltd (MSEZ) to meet the water requirement of the industries, is likely to prove costly for the citizens of Mangalore.

The barrage that is under construction is situated near the new Thumbe vented dam which is under construction for supplying water to Mangalore.

The barrage is located four km above the Thumbe dam and seven km downstream of the dam belonging to AMR company.

According to an estimate, with the construction of the MSEZ barrage, the storage capacity of the Thumbe vented dam which aims at storing the water seven metres above the sea level, is likely to be reduced by at least 30 per cent. That is, the storage capacity will be reduced to 10 million cubic metres as against the intended storage capacity of 14 million cubic metres.

The MSEZ has obtained permission from the State government for the construction of four barrages, two each on Nethravathi and Gurupur rivers for storing 15 Million Gallon per Day (MGD) water and supply it to the MSEZ during 90 days in summer. Of the 15 MGD, five MGD will be stored at Jakribettu barrage.

The government order dated September 17, 2007, issuing permission for the construction of the four barrages, the copy of which is available with Deccan Herald, states that the barrage should not adversely affect the old dam in Thumbe/the future drinking water and irrigation projects and must not affect the beneficiaries of the drinking water projects.

Violation of the 18 terms and conditions laid down by the government while issuing permission would lead to withdrawal of the licence, said the order.

Validity expires

The MSEZ has violated yet another significant condition laid down by the government, which states that the project licence is valid only for five years from the date of the order, within which the company is supposed to complete the work of the barrages.

But the MSEZ has taken up the barrage work at Jakribettu very recently and the work is still in the initial phase, thus giving the Water Resources Department the right to cancel the licence.

The Water Resources Department has also not obtained No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the MCC and the district administration, before issuing licence to the MSEZ to take up the work.

Mangalore City Corporation Commissioner (MCC) Dr K Harish Kumar said the MCC was aware of the issue and had written to the deputy commissioner in this regard.

Deputy Commissioner Dr N S Channappa Gowda told Deccan Herald that the district administration has considered the matter and would take further steps as per the rule. No barrages could be constructed that would affect the supply of drinking water to Mangalore city, said the deputy commissioner.

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