'Two vented dams built in DK using MGNREGS funds'

Umesh, Zilla Panchayat deputy secretary, said that two vented dams have been constructed under funds available from Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in the district.

Speaking at the Zilla Panchayat meeting, he said, “Places have been identified for the construction of 497 vented dams. The estimates have been prepared for 366 vented dams while the work of 213 vented dams have commenced. We want to ensure each gram panchayat gets at least five vented dams,” he said.

According to official sources, groundwater has been overexploited in certain pockets. In some places in the district, the groundwater level has fallen alarmingly low. Drilling of borewells for irrigation and drinking water supply under government-sponsored schemes is considered to be the main reason for this.

Owing to such overexploitation, the authorities have declared Puttur as a critically exploited zone with use of 96% of groundwater, while Belthangady and Bantwal taluks have been declared as semi-exploited zones, with 68% and 66% dependence on groundwater.

ZP CEO Dr M R Ravi said, “Our concern should not be to sink borewells to supply water. Instead, more measures should be taken to recharge ground water table.”

According to available statistics, the average static water-level in Bantwal taluk has gone down to 9.53 metres against 8.76 metres in 2013 and 8.52 metres in 2010. In Belthangady taluk, the level has fallen from 6.92 metres to 8.67 metres; in Mangaluru, the level has gone down to 12.96 metres from 10.01 metres; in Puttur, it has reached 7.12 metres from 5.70 metres while in Sullia it has reached 10.68 metres from 9.12 metres.

To raise the water table, the Zilla Panchayat has proposed to construct vented dams.

The officials said that with the construction of 290 vented dams in Bantwal, about 73,40,63 cubic metres of water can be stored. The target is to construct 240 vented dams in Belthangady where 6,07,500-cubic metre water can be collected, 275 dams to collect 6,96,094-cubic metre water in Mangaluru, 205 dams to collect 5,19,806-cubic metre water in Puttur and 140 dams in Sullia to collect 3,54,375 cubic metres of water.
 

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