Madikeri: With the Harangi Dam in Kodagu district full to the brim, thanks to copious rainfall in the past few days, Kodagu District Minister V. Somanna yesterday offered bagina at the Dam, in keeping with the tradition.
During the offering of the Bagina, Somanna performed puja to four crest gates of the Dam and also pressed the crest gate button to release 8,000 cusecs of water from the Dam.
Later speaking to press persons, Somanna said that Harangi Dam was the first major Dam in the State to have filled up this monsoon. Noting that the Dam feeds water to 1.65 lakh hectares of Kodagu, K.R. Nagar taluk in Mysuru and five taluks of Hassan district, he said that water will be released for standing Kharif crops and through all canals of the Dam.
Maintaining that the B.S. Yediyurappa Government is doing what all it can for expanding the irrigation network in the State, Somanna contended that there was no drought in the State for two years. However, rain has played havoc in some parts of the State, he said and added that scattered rains across the State has helped farming.
Clarifying that the Government has released money for de-silting of Harangi Dam, he said that tenders have been invited for the purpose. Noting that there were no successful bidders two times, he said that the Government was ready to hand over the works if a competent contractor comes forward for the third time.
Asserting that Kodagu DC has informed him that the district has so far suffered an estimated loss of Rs. 95 lakh due to heavy rains, Somanna said that measures will be taken for providing relief to the family of a person who was recently washed away in floods.
Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha, in his address, said that though he was an elected MP for seven years, he could not offer bagina to Harangi Dam for one reason or the other. But he was happy now that he got a chance. Arguing that the State has been receiving good rainfall after B.S. Yediyurappa came to power, he said that nature too seems to be impressed by the works of the Chief Minister.
Referring to the damages caused to Madikeri-Mangaluru National Highway, Simha said that it has come to his notice and he will do all he can to repair the damaged sections of the road. Also, it has been planned to construct earth retaining wall at landslides prone 22 points of the Highway, for which he would render all help, he added.
Harangi Dam officials said that the Dam has a water storage capacity of 8.5 TMC and the maximum water level of the dam is 2859 ft. At present, the water level is retained at 2858 ft. as a precautionary measure and whatever additional water that the Dam gets (inflow) will be discharged through canals.
Earlier, the Minister and a host of other dignitaries offered puja to the idol of Goddess Cauvery at the lower level of the Dam.
MLAs Appachu Ranjan, A.T. Ramasway and H.P. Manjunath, DC Charulatha Somal, MLC Sunil Subramani, BJP District President Robin Devaiah and a host of other officials and people representatives were present.