FROM HERE & THERE

Sixty years ago, the irrigation department is said to have spent nearly Rs 40 lakh to construct Kanva reservoir with a masonry dam known for its unique design.
The reservoir has five-hood siphon spillways for automatic discharge of excess inflow when its storage level reaches the danger mark during floods. Siphon dam is simply an engineering design to save upstream villages and standing crops affected by the flood. In Karnataka, Markonahalli and Kanva reservoirs are known to be the only irrigation dams built with the siphon spillway flood control system, both designed by Sir M V in 1940s.
With more than three hundred sq.km of catchment area spread over 700 hectares, Kanva reservoir (storage capacity: 1.2 tmc) has irrigation canals reaching 1400 hectares on the right bank and 700 hectares on the left bank of the reservoir.
Over the years, farmers from (some thirty villages) surrounding villages have mainly depended on Kanva reservoir for their livelihood.

Irrigation apart, the location of the reservoir is a popular picnic spot set amidst a serene valley of forest hills. The tourism department has plans to develop this spot as a tourist attraction. Kanva reservoir is 13 km from the famous toy town of Channapatna.
Locals and environmentalists, however, are now said to be worried about the proposal of Channapatna and Ramanagara Municipalities to take over fifty acres of Gomala land at Chamanahalli, the village lands near Kanva reservoir for dumping municipal solid waste!  
S V Upendra Charya

When the birds come home to roost
Thousands of egrets have come to Mundigekere in Badalakoppa village, 19 kms from Sirsi town on the Hulekal-Sonda road.
The birds are busy nesting and breeding in Mundigekere tank which covers an area of about four acres amidst green hills,  areca plantations and paddy fields.
Now this place is a paradise for nature lovers. The youth of Jagrata Vedike in Sonda have built a watch tower on a tall tree that could be reached with the help of a ladder made of bamboo for the benefit of bird watchers. One can see large egrets, medium-sized egrets, small egrets and little cormorants in large numbers. There are cattle egrets, munias, black headed mynas and white-breasted water hens in small numbers.
Ornithologist P D Sudarshan spotted this place in 1990 and included it in the Asian and Australasian Waterfowl Census in 1992 and 1993. In 1996, Sudarshan wrote a letter to the local circle’s Conservator of Forests seeking a bird sanctuary tag for the area. In 2002, many egrets were killed by poachers at night.
On the request of local people, a guard was appointed to prevent poaching of birds. For the next four or five years, the egrets stopped coming to this place.
This year, the villagers are happy to see the egrets in large numbers with the onset of monsoon.
The pandana plants have covered most of the places in Mundigekere tank and this year, the birds have moved to the interiors of the tank.
Rajiv G H

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