'Announce package for drinking water projects in DK'

'Announce package for drinking water projects in DK'

MLC Ivan D’Souza has urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to announce a package for permanent drinking water projects to cater to the requirements of Dakshina Kannada district.

Addressing a press meet here on Monday, he said the state government has sought Rs 12,272 crore from the centre to tackle the drought that has affected 27 districts and 136 taluks in the state.

“The MPs from Karnataka should impress upon the Prime Minister to release the amount to tackle the drought in the state. Although Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Kodagu have not been declared as drought-hit districts, the water crisis is severe in these districts too,” D’Souza added.

“In spite of the availability of water sources, the district administration and the Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) have failed to tap the sources to supply water to the residents. Authorities have also lacked foresight to store enough water at weirs along the river course. As a result, water crisis has severely impacted the normal life in Mangaluru city,” he said.

He said that to ensure that the water crisis does not affect the citizens of Mangaluru, an expert committee of Dayanand Kotian, Dr Vivek Rai and Dr Madhyasta has been formed to advise on improvement of the groundwater table in the district.

“The committee will look into the possibilities of rainwater harvesting, construction of check dams and Paschima Vahini projects. A comprehensive report will be submitted to the state government within two weeks to implement the suggestions. The report will also be submitted to the minister for irrigation to chalk out long-term projects for the district,” the MLC said.

D’Souza said that the chief minister has promised to conduct a survey on Paschima Vahini scheme, which envisages harnessing the west-flowing rivers by constructing check dams. Permanent drinking water projects are need of the hour, he added.

“The water-level at Thumbe dam stands at 4.7 feet and is sufficient for a maximum of nine days. The Corporation faces a challenge of meeting the water requirements of the people once the dam goes. I have urged the builders and contractors of Mangaluru to help the residents – especially BCM hostels and orphanages – by supplying water from the available sources free of cost, and they have agreed to do so. The contractors’ association has already given their pick-up vehicles to the MCC to load water tanks to supply water to the residents. About 50 water tankers have been put to use for the benefit of the residents,” he said.

The MLC said that the Corporation has initiated the process to drill borewells to meet the requirements of the people. “As many as seven borewells have already been dug and there is sufficient water in the borewells,” he assured.

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