Mysore/Mysuru: Former Minister and current Krishnaraja MLA S.A. Ramdas has clarified that the development works of Devikere has been taken up only to protect the sanctity of the lake which has a religious significance.
Though Chamundi Hill does not fall in the ambit of Krishnaraja Constituency, represented by Ramdas in the Assembly, he took a keen interest in the rejuvenation of the water body. After the temple priests and locals brought to the notice of Ramdas, the pathetic condition of the lake, he had succeeded in seeking grants from the then Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa. Following this, he had also got the first phase of funds released from the then Minor Irrigation Minister J.C. Madhuswamy, facilitating the works.
Ramdas’ efforts had also come under praise from various quarters.
In his reply, Ramdas has said: “The sewage water was reaching the womb of the lake, while the steps had turned slippery due to lack of maintenance. The temple priests were finding it difficult to take the steps. A part of the bund was in a dilapidated state. The priests had brought all these into my notice urging for the restoration works of the lake. I had exhorted the then CM B.S. Yediyurappa in this regard and even got the funds released. Chamundeshwari MLA G.T. Devegowda (Chamundi Hill comes under his Constituency) had also lauded the initiative.”
Now, the works are undertaken to check the flow of sewage into the lake and facilitate only rain water. Even if the water overflows, it should flow in a systematic manner. The water required to perform rituals for the Goddess Chamundeshwari and the safety of priests who go to fetch water from the lake were the only reasons behind taking up the works, added Ramdas.
Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE) of Minor Irrigation Department Eshwar said: “Sewage water was flowing into the lake, which holds religious significance for Teppotsava (Coracle Festival) conducted every year during Dasara. MLA Ramdas, who took keen interest, brought this to the notice of the then CM Yediyurappa and got the funds sanctioned from Minister Madhuswamy. A tender for Rs. 7.5 crore was issued by the Minor Irrigation Department that was bagged by Vanaja Construction firm and the work order was issued on June 21, 2022. The works have been taken up with all safety measures.”
The drainage system will be built to avoid sewage water from mixing with lake water, thus facilitating the free flow of rain water to the water body. The works are on to remove the silt, without harming the mother source and water springs. The silt has deposited from five to six decades and the machinery is deployed only to remove the muck, the AEE added.
To ensure that no aquatic creatures in the lake were harmed, measures were taken to constantly look for them, as it was believed that Tortoises and other such creatures have made their habitats. Two big fishes were rescued from the lake and released into Hirekere. The stones installed like in Kalyanis (ponds) are being removed and relaid to check the possibilities of alluvial surface by building toe walls.
The pathway will be built around the lake, along with stone wall in a sloping design and safety grills. The vacant space around will be turned into a viewers gallery with stone benches and heritage style lamp posts. The originality of the lake will remain intact, with cautious and honest efforts being made in this regard. The machinery is used only to de-silt the lake, while the remaining works are being carried out with the help of manpower. The works are expected to be complete by June, said AEE Eshwar.