Arkavathi revival project rejuvenates 200 water bodies

Arkavathi revival project rejuvenates 200 water bodies

Cauvery Neeravari Nigam executing Rs 22.43-crore project

Arkavathi revival project rejuvenates 200 water bodies

More than 200 water bodies on the course of River Arkavathi have been rejuvenated, in the first-ever project undertaken by the State to revive a river.

The Cauvery Neeravari Nigam (CNN), in the past two years, has removed encroachments, desilted and constructed canals along the river, completing close to 80 per cent of the work along the 1,300-km stretch.

The work has been carried out at a cost of Rs 22.43 crore, and new canals have been constructed for nearly 980 km.

In the past 20 years, the Arkavathi river course had seen tremendous changes in terrain, with absolutely no efforts to conserve the river or its tributaries. A CNN official said that around 70 per cent of the river course had been converted into agriculture land and layouts.

The official added that though rocky surface posed problems while desilting, they managed to retain the trees, along the newly laid canals. After the rejuvenation work, hundreds of tanks upstream Hesaraghatta lake have got filled and the water level in the lake has increased as well. This has also helped in increasing the water level at Thippagonadanahalli (TG Halli) reservoir.

As per the latest reports, the water level at the Hesaraghatta lake is 10 feet while the water level at the TG halli reservoir is 42 ft. As many as 68 tanks between Hesaraghatta lake and Thippagondanahalli reservoir have received water.

The CNN official said that it was not just the revival, but heavy rains in September and October also helped increase the water levels.

“Though water from Hesaraghatta lake and TG Halli reservoir will not be used for the moment, the water stored will definitely help improve the groundwater levels which has depleted in the area due to rapid urbanisation,” the official added.

CNN officials said that they were not able to desilt a slushy 120-km stretch since it was filled with sewage. The stretch includes Tumakuru Road near Chikkabanavara, Bagalagkunte, Mallasandra, Chikkasandra, Nagasandra, Chikkabidarakallu and Makali.

They said that the sewage lines were directly connected to the river’s tributaries and at places, there were encroachments which had become a major challenge to continue the rejuvenation work.

Cauvery Neeravari Nigam will take up desilting of Hesaraghatta lake at a cost of Rs 3.9 crore. The estimate has been sent to the CNN Board and once the project gets approved, the work is expected to be carried out during summer, when the water level goes down in the lake.