Call to convert Kolar into Malnad

Holur Shankar remembered at Ground Water Bill seminar

He was speaking at a seminar on Karnataka Ground Water Bill 2009 conducted by Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha in memory of farmers’ leader Holur Shankar here on Saturday.

The water problem in the district can be alleviated by recognising the available water sources and also utilising them judiciously, Lingaraju suggested.

Ground water research, conducted to provide better access to water facilities, benefited farmers greatly as their lifestyle changed for the better. “But people who had never imagined that ground water sources would dry up are now facing problems,” he added.

Lingaraju said lakes and ponds that fill up from the first round of rains dry up by the time the second rains start and said this needs to be prevented.

He advised to the residents of villages to prepare maps of their villages, marking out lakes and ponds and ensuring that they are filled with water. “Then, they will not need to get water from anywhere else,” he pointed out.

Lingaraju said that during times when residents of villages themselves handled the lakes, water supply thrived. Later, however, water management found discrepancy and ground water was used uncontrolled, leading to water problems.

He added that forests too are decreasing. “Since forest are necessary for rivers to be perennial, it is important to preserve forests,” he said.

Mentioning that the State Government has readied a bill to prevent excessive usage of ground water, Lingaraju said it was a matter of law. “What is really effective is people realizing the importance of preserving natural resources, and working towards it,” he added.

In contrast

Dr Madhu Seetappa, however, gave a different opinion about the matter. He reminded that since renewable water sources have dried up, permanent sources are now being used. “Within some years, these too would dry up. Then, it would not be possible to convert Kolar into another Malnad,” he opined.

The Government should first take steps to provide water and only later pass laws preventing use of ground water. “Otherwise, the farmers will rebel against the rulers,” he warned.

People who suggest connecting rivers are looked down upon, he said. The BJP Government in the Centre had proposed connecting rivers, but the Yeddyurappa Government is now opposing it. The Government should work towards supplying water from the Western Ghats, the Kaveri, the Hogenakkal, and other places to drought-stricken regions, suggested Seetappa.

The seminar was inaugurated by freedom fighter H S Doreswami. Association state unit general secretary G C Bayyareddy spoke during the occasion. S Chandrashekhar presided over the programme.

Association district unit president P R Suryanarayana welcomed the gathering. Secretary T M Venkatesh was the master of ceremony.

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