Irrigation project fails to take off even after decades

Honnekoodige lift irrigation project fails to take off even after decades

The jack well work has been completed as a part of Honnekoodige lift irrigation project.

The Honnekoodige lift irrigation project that was envisioned to supply water to farmlands during summer at Honnekoodige Gram Panchayat has not materialised for several decades. 

The villagers in Honnekoodige, Handooru, Bilalu, Koppa, Salooru and Varkate were depending on rain for farming without the irrigation facility. 

Realising that the water from Bhadra backwaters can be used for farming and overcoming water crisis, then Taluk Development Board member H S Krishnayya had submitted a project proposal to the Minor Irrigation Department.

H D Deve Gowda as the irrigation minister in 1988-89 had sanctioned the project under Kaveri Jalanayana Yojane. Accordingly, the officials who visited the spot said that the lift irrigation project would irrigate 850 to 1,000 acres of farmland. An estimate of Rs 1.4 crore was submitted to the government.

The project was also included in the state budget of 1990-91. Even tender was invited for the project in 1992. However, permission was not given for using water from Bhadra backwaters. Finally, in 1994, the chief engineer granted permission for lifting water and the Kaveri Jalanayana Yojane was suspended. 

Later, once again in 1998, the project was launched. However, the project did not receive permission from the forest department. It was in 2008, with the efforts of D N Jeevraj as an MLA, Rs 3.75 crore was released by the government. 

Already, a jack well has been constructed and the work on pumphouse too has been completed. Through 300 hp capacity motor, the water from River Bhadra should be lifted and stored in overhead tanks. From there, water would be supplied through the pipeline to fill 60 lakes in Honnekoodige limits. 

Taluk Development Board former member H S Krishnayya said the elected representatives speak on the implementation of the project only during elections. All the leaders keeping aside party politics should strive for the implementation of the project. 

MLA T D Rajegowda said, "Permission was given to complete the project during the Congress-JD(S) coalition government. The change in government once again delayed the project. A memorandum has been submitted to Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi to complete the project at the earliest." 

RFO Ranganath said, "The department had submitted a proposal seeking permission from the head office in Bengaluru to give permission to complete the project." 

Engineer Bharath said, "All the required details sought by the forest department have been sent online."

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