Government prepared to tackle drought situation: Ivan D'souza

The state government is all prepared to manage the drought situation in the district and there is no shortage of funds, Chief Whip of the government in Legislative Council Ivan D’Souza said. Addressing media persons here on Thursday, he said the government has identified Mangaluru and Bantwal taluks as drought-hit and has released funds for drought relief measures.

The district administration and the Zilla Panchayats have been told to take all measures to provide drinking water. The district has 5,868 borewells. Among them, 5,168 borewells are in rural areas, he said. There are 66 borewells in the city and all are functioning. Also, there are 26 open wells. In addition, 34 borewell points have been identified and if required, 26 borewells will be dug, he added.

D’Souza said Rs 82 lakh has been released to the district task force for repairing borewells and pipelines in the district. He said Rs 6 crore has been sought by the Zilla Panchayat and Rs 2.6 crore has been released.  First time in the history of the Zilla Panchayat, Rs 60 lakh is released to the Zilla Panchayat president and the president will have prerogative to utilise the amount for drinking water related works based on necessities and demands.

The district has 1,568 vented dams and among them, 427 need repair. In the first phase, Rs 2.3 crore has been released to the Zilla Panchayat for the purpose. The  repair of 1,000 vented dams will be taken up on priority. The MGNREGA scheme will be linked to the works, he added.

The district administration has submitted a proposal to the government for Rs 13 crore towards drought-hit taluks. A sum of Rs 3 crore has already been released, he said. D’Souza said 40 lakes in Mangaluru taluk will be rejuvenated under ‘Kere Sanjeevini’ scheme at Rs 7.64 crore and 99 lakes in Bantwal taluk will be rejuvenated at a cost of Rs 8.17 crore.

Except for Balepuni and Manjanadi villages, where the water is supplied through tankers, all other areas in the district are getting water supply. If the need arises, water from Kudremukh dam will be released, he added.

D’souza disbursed Rs 13,57,757  from Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to 23 people suffering from various ailments. He said that he has utilised all 45 chances to ask questions in the Legislative Council during the 133rd legislature session held between March 15 to 28.

Responding to a query, D’Souza said that he will speak to Mangaluru City Corporation commissioner regarding complaints on the water tanker lobby exerting pressure on MCC administration in creating an artificial shortage of drinking water. The MCC will not succumb to such lobbies, he added.

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