Institution to study, monitor revival of rivers

 The Arkavathi-Kumudvathi River Rejuvenation Committee (AKRRC) is planning to set up a river basin level institution.

The institution will study and monitor rejuvenation activities undertaken for the revival of the Arkavathi and Kumudvathi rivers. It will comprise government representatives and an expert panel.

Speaking on the sidelines of a discussion held by AKRRC on the state of the two rivers on Monday, Seetharam M R, a member of the committee, told Deccan Herald, “The institution will coordinate with the government on the projects undertaken and the public will also be consulted. Though many projects are being executed for the makeover of rivers, there is no proper monitoring mechanism in place. Also, the projects are not scientific. There is a need for a comprehensive plan.” 

Environmentalist and former Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer A N Yellappa Reddy - who was present at the meeting - stressed the need for a water policy similar to the one in Rajasthan.

“I appeal to the MLAs concerned to approach senior officials in this regard,” Reddy said. Venkataramanaiah, the Doddaballapur MLA, said that the MLAs would go in a delegation to meet the chief minister and discuss the matter with him. 

The AKRRC members said that the two rivers – Arkavathi and Kumudvathi - were a source of water for the Thippagondanahalli reservoir (that supplies water to the City) and that the water bodies were polluted and fast drying up.

Sharachchandra Lele from the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) said that the institution had conducted a research on the water bodies.

“We found that there is a decline in the water flow in the two rivers not because of climate or illegal encroachments, but due to the depletion of groundwater. Check dams constructed on the streams by the government are slowing down the flow of the rivers.”

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