Deputy Commissioner D S Vishwanath on Friday directed all the panchayat development officers (PDOs) to ensure that the rejuvenation of temple tanks (kalyanis) in the district is completed by the month-end.
After releasing a pamphlet on the National Drinking Water Security Pilot Programme on the occasion of World Water Day here, he said if the rejuvenation work is completed by the end of March, the process of storing rain water would be a smooth affair. If the work is delayed, huge quantities rain water would go down the drain, he observed.
When the Deputy Commissioner asked the PDOs, how many of them have commenced the work on reviving temple tanks in their jurisdiction, none of them came up with a positive reply.
An apparently disappointed Dr Vishwanth sought to know from the PDOs the reason for the delay and, said that there was no dearth of funds for reviving temple tanks. The development of kalyanis can be taken up even under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, he added.
Even if 250 of the identified 600 temple tanks are rejuvenated by March-end, water crisis in around 150 to 200 villages could be mitigated by storing rain water. Officials have to make efforts to complete the works, he said.
As silt was being removed from tanks in an unscientific manner, it was not helping either in storage of water or in recharging of the groundwater. Silt has to be removed in such a way that it helps in reviving the tank, he suggested.
It is unfortunate that several tanks, ponds and temple tanks built by our ancestors to address the water needs have now disappeared, mainly due to large-scale encroachments, Dr Vishwanath said.
Judicious use of water, reuse of water and other water conservation methods should be effectively taken up in the arid Kolar district. Instead of merely focusing on the source of water problems, people have to look too new solutions to these problems. There is an immediate need to adopt rain water harvesting in all the government buildings in the jurisdiction of the Zilla Panchayat to cut down the dependence on borewells, he suggested.
National Drinking Wtaer Security Pilot Programme official Ravi Prakash, Zilla Panchayat Executive Engineer Devaraj, Zilla Panchayat Deputy Secretary D S Badanur and several gram panchayat members from the district were present.
Funds for kalyani work
Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer S M Zulfikarullah said the government had released Rs four crore under MGNREGA to the district and funds would be immediately released to those gram panchayats that have prepared plans for rejuvenation of kalyanis. Money has already been released to four gram panchayats in Mulbagal taluk which have submitted the action plans, he said.