Declining water level in River Tunga a cause of concern

A shepherd grazes sheep in the dried-up Tunga river bed.

In spite of Sringeri experiencing good showers during the monsoon, water-level in River Tunga has reduced drastically and is almost dry. 

The river which is the lifeline of Sringeri and surrounding areas in Malnad overflows during the monsoon.

In spite of the taluk experiencing 301.36 inches of rainfall in Sringeri during the year, things are looking quite bleak.

A villager said, “In the past, people couldn’t cross the river till December. However, for the last three years, the river could be easily crossed by walking in the month of October itself. The early drying of the river could be attributed to several reasons such as excessive deforestation, poorly planned irrigation pattern and overuse of water.”

During 2015, the people in the region witnessed a strange development where the water level in the river reduced drastically, eventually stopping altogether at Tudur in Teerthahalli taluk.

This year, looking at the flow of the river, it may not be possible to find the flow of the river from April.

After electricity pumps have come to use, more and more people have been drawing water from the river through pumps.

Tunga river also supplies water to many areas in Davanagere which is a part of the plain region. However, water from the Tunga is mainly used for irrigation purpose.

During the previous years, the district administration had imposed a ban on the usage of pump sets in the river, so that the people would not run short of drinking water.

The contamination of the river has aggravated the problem. Residents in urban areas have been releasing the untreated effluents to the river directly. The sewage is also being into let to the river, resulting in the outbreak of vector-borne diseases.

Tunga river which takes birth at Gangadikallu in Bhagavati forest of Malnad region has been revered by the people as it is believed that the original source of the river is Gangamoola situated behind Gangadikallu.

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Declining water level in River Tunga a cause of concern

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