Karnataka to draw up new project to recharge borewells

Karnataka to draw up new project to recharge borewells

Karnataka government is drawing up a new project to recharge borewells in the backdrop of over-exploitation of ground water, drying up of 50,000 handpumps and "life-less" position of 12,000 tanks in the state, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister H K Patil said today.

Patil during the question hour in the Legislative Assembly said    12,000 Zilla Panchayat tanks have become "life-less".

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had stated in his budget speech last week that action would be taken to rejuvenate them under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MGNREGA) and other schemes.

"50,000 handpumps have gone dry", Patil said, admitting to over-exploitation of ground-water reaching alarming proportions at many places. "We will draw up a new project to recharge borewell and implement it. Recharge pits will be built and tanks will be desilted".

Under the National Rural Drinking Water programme, sustainability works like construction of check-dams and percolation tanks are being taken up on priority in over-exploited rural areas, the Minister said responding to question from N Cheluvarayaswamy (JDS).

It has become inevitable to fill tanks with river water even in irrigated areas, Patil said. Karnataka government recently announced that a Rural Development Commissionerate would be created for effective implementation and efficient monitoring of MGNREGA. It had also announced that a separate Rural Water and Sanitation Department would be created for effective implementation and efficient monitoring of drinking water programmes implemented in rural areas.

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