Plans to rejuvenate Arkavathi river

Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai, briefing media in Bangalore on Friday, said change in land use pattern and exploitation of ground water in the catchment areas were the reasons for reduced run-off of Arkavathi River.

The Cauvery Neeravari Nigama Limited (CNNL) conducted a preliminary study of the river course to prepare a detailed project report for rejuvenation of the river, he said. The detail analysis of data collected from topo sheets, satellite images and rainfall details of the catchment area showed that ground water had been exploited in the region.

Commercial plantation with eucalyptus and casurina, which are water intensive, had come up in the catchment area. The preliminary report said check dams, vented dams and agriculture activity in the catchment area had reduced run-off of the river. Ground water had been exploited for industrial, agriculture and domestic purposes.

The report has suggested regulation of ground water exploitation and restriction of further spread of water-intensive plantations. It has also recommended setting up of an authority for enforcing the regulations in the catchment area.

The CNNL has divided the catchment area into for three divisions –– Hessaraghatta valley, Kumudvathi and Arkavathi. According to initial estimates the cost of rejuvenation works in Hessaraghatta valley would be Rs 13.75 crore.

Bommai said the department was expecting the report on other two divisions in next the four months. The reports would be submitted to the Chief Minister to develop a comprehensive project to rejuvenate the river.

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