Tanks rejuvenation at snail's pace

Work on 124 water bodies completed in a span of 7 years with World Bank funding

 
Whopping number of 2005 tanks spread over 34 taluks in 10 districts were selected for rejuvenation under the Rs 330.69 crore World Bank funded scheme, launched in the year 2002. It was planned to rejuvenate 567 taluks in the district - 165 of Kolar taluk, 132 of Malur and 270 tanks of Mulbagal taluk.

The number later rose to 572. The work on rejuvenation of 521 tanks is under progress out of which 74 have been handed over to Jalasamvardhana Sanghas after completion of the work. Fifty more would be handed over by the end of this month. Thus, in all 124 tanks have been rejuvenated in the district, in a span of seven years.

Objectives

However, the project to rejuvenate and maintain tanks by forming community-based associations is proceeding at a snail’s pace in the district. Alleviating poverty by raising the living standards of rural people is also one of the objectives of this ambitious programme.

“Rejuvenation of 50 tanks has been completed and the district unit is preparing to hand over them to the Jalasamvardhana Sanghas constituted in the limits of respective waterbodies.

Survey has been taken up for rejuvenation of 73 tanks in Srinivaspur taluk and 97 in Bangarpet taluk during the present year, deputy coordinator of the unit, C Munegowda, told Deccan Herald.

Work halted

Meanwhile, the work on rejuvenation of 51 tanks has come to a grinding halt for various reasons. He attributed the situation to improper style of functioning of the non-government organisations which were entrusted with the responsibility of implementing the scheme with the cooperation of the community.

Out of the 18 NGOs which were required to form Jalasamvardhana Sanghas and thereby aid rejuvenation, a few have misguided the community as a result of which it had become impossible to utilise the funds within the stipulated time. The World Bank had withdrawn the unspent money in 2007 that should have been spent within 2005. However, following the efforts put in by the unit, the Bank has now released funds for rejuvenation of 43 tanks.

Report sought

He said that the Department has sought a comprehensive report on the tanks rejuvenated since from 2002. It has also directed to blacklist the organisations found guilty of irregularities. The report is under preparation.

It is lamentable that only 125 tanks have been rejuvenated so far in the project that commenced way back in 2002. Lack of commitment on the part of public, poor management of the NGOs involved and laxity of the supervising officers should be blamed for the snail’s pace of work. Care shall be taken to ensure that the same situation is not repeated during works in Bangarpet and Srinivaspur taluks.

M V N Rao of Gram Vikas alleged though the project is projected to be a community-based, the stakeholders are not being taken into confidence. He pointed out this fact as the reason for the inordinate delay.

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