Return Yaragol funds with interest, govt tells Kolar

Grants up to Rs 7 crore wasted, says district in-charge secretary

The government has instructed the district administration to return, with interest, funds released in the first phase for implementation of the Yaragol Project, said District In-charge Secretary P N Srinivasachari.

He was addressing the second day of the workshop on ‘Sustained Development: Marine Life and Community’ organised at Chennayya Rangamandira by the district administration and Zilla Panchayat on Friday.

Down the drain

“The government had granted up to Rs 18 crore in the first phase for the implementation of the Yaragol Project. It had also released Rs seven crore, but the district administration has failed to optimally utilised the funds,” he  alleged.

“The district is losing its water resource just as the gold mines emptied. The government therefore planned various schemes to ensure the district got permanent irrigation facilities. Tenders have also been prepared for implementation of some of the projects,” he said.

“The district was given Rs 10 crore this year to sink borewells. As many as 940 borewells were sunk, but 40 per cent of them failed. We are also waiting to find how long the borewells that provide water will survive,” he said. “Which is why, it is all the more important to pay attention to careful use of the water available.”

Little change

There is no difference between the level of rainfall 30 years ago and now. But, the water problem has increased a lot, mainly due to encroachment of tanks and canals. The district has heavily neglected the maintenance of most of it water bodies, Srinivasachari said.

“Wells in the district used to fill up 50-60 per cent in the rainy season before 1980. Now, we have to depend on borewells for water. The stormwater drains in the district have been encroached upon. As a result, most water tanks have become empty ponds, like cricket stadiums.”

“Israel gets barely 100-150 mm rain a year. Yet, it exports fruits and vegetables, thanks to a development in technology. Kolar gets far more rain than Israel, but still is struggling to face the water requirement,” he added.

The State gets 3,600 tmc water from various sources. But, only 1,600 tmc is being used. The rest of the water flows into the Western Ghats, which means we have failed in using the water, although it is available, said the Secretary.

Former minister K Srinivas Gowda agreed that the district administration should take initiative to preserve and renovate water tanks.

Lectures

Dr K T Krishnegowda, retired professor of GKVK, spoke on Khushki cultivation and its uses. Dr B S Manjunath Prasad, head of Bangalore Urban Initiatives, spoke on water awareness and management in urban areas. Dr Siddaramanna, assistant professor of the Hebbal Veterinary College, spoke on the optimum usage of water for cultivation of fodder.

A L Rama Rao, retired district statistician, spoke on renovation of tanks and feeder channels. Dr Jayaram spoke on segregation of horticulture crops. Dr Lakshmikanth spoke on the means of conservation of water using space technology. H A Purushottam Rao spoke on conservation and growth of forests. Shivananda and Krishna Manohar, professor of GKVK, spoke on the methods of protective irrigation for horticulture crops.

Dr V S Prakash, director of the Karnataka Natural Disaster In-charge Centre, and the  Zilla
Panchayat chief executive officer Rajendra Cholan spoke during the valedictory programme.

Deputy Commissioner Dr D S Vishwanath was present on the occasion.

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