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Joining hands to heal nature

As areas around Indargi, a village in Koppal town, brace up for one of the toughest summers, a water project based on community participation to make the region water-sufficient is drawing attention.

Indargi’s topography is such that it is surrounded by rocky hills and has no connection with any water body, hence the region is naturally dry. During summer, the water crisis aggravates putting humans and animals on the brink of difficulty. People trudging long distances to fetch water is a common sight.

Hosakere lake, which is spread over about 70 acres, has been a primary source of water for the surrounding villages. In recent times, even the lake used to go dry soon after the monsoon.

About 15 years ago, a project was finalised by the government to link the Hottebenaka canal to the lake so that the water from the canal merged with the lake boosting the water table. However, the project did not take off.

Without waiting any more for the government to take up the project, people have joined hands to link the canal to the lake so that the region’s water crisis is better addressed.  

It all started a year ago when Sri Abhinava Gavisiddeshwara Swami of Gavi Math in Koppal visited the village to participate in the Lakshadeepotsava programme. At the event, he was explaining about the importance of water harvesting and the need to recharge water. The villagers’ suggestion of linking the canal to the lake caught the pontiff’s attention and he visited the spot to study the pros and cons. Later, at a meeting in the village, he presented a detailed action plan to be implemented by various voluntary groups comprising local residents. 

Once the activity took off, several people contributed in their own capacities. About 25 tractors and five earth-moving machines were used every day to materialise the project.

The canal is now linked to the lake in record time. The project is ready to receive the first showers of monsoon. “In the coming years, the project is likely to boost groundwater table in the surrounding villages such as Budagumpa, Jabbalgudda, Kukanpalli and Indiranagar. It will also facilitate irrigation of about 600 acres of farmland. Above all, the move will end the drinking water crisis in the region,” says Bhojappa Kumbar, a villager.

Hopes realised

“Our plight during the summer is beyond description. Similar measures at parched regions will end the crisis in those areas,” says Shivanna Bheemanur, president of Koppal Taluk Raitha Sangha. The voluntary labour that ensured successful implementation of a water project without the government’s support and financial help has caught the attention at the state and national levels.

Residents in the region anticipate a better future as the project is progressing. One of the outstanding features of this initiative is that it is cost-effective, and required less money than what the government spends on such projects. 

The small village’s efforts are a lesson to all. The project is sure to make Indargi a water secure village in the next few years. The move is a classic example to find solutions locally for local woes and has inspired other villages as well. 

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