Public participation important in conservation of water bodies and dams: Govind Karjol
Mysore/Mysuru: Maintaining that a great responsibility rests with the Government, the bureaucracy and the public alike in conserving water bodies, dams, reservoirs and such other irrigation structures which were assiduously built by the erstwhile Mysore Maharajas in Mysuru region, Water Resources Minister Govind Karjol said that officials must act swiftly for controlling floods and long-term storage of precious water.
He was speaking after inaugurating the day-long Stakeholders Consultation meeting on implementation of emergency action plan for KRS, Kabini, Harangi and Chikkahole dams, at Kusuma Chandrashekar Kalyana Mantap near Mogarahalli (Manti) on Mysuru-KRS Road this morning.
Pointing out that there are 231 dams and other irrigation structures in the State, Karjol said that Karnataka has 30,66,000 hectares of irrigated land and this area needs to be expanded further by betterment of irrigation facilities for ensuring sustenance of food grain production and complete food security.
Highlighting the measures to be taken for checking flooding of rivers and other water bodies during monsoon or other times of excessive rains, Karjol asserted that the Government is committed for execution of Mekedatu project along Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border, no matter what the objection of Tamil Nadu is.
Stressing on the need for saving and conserving all water bodies, big or small, he reiterated the importance of public participation in ensuring success of Government initiatives.
Sluice gates replaced
Karjol said that thus far, 69 sluice gates of the nearly century old KRS dam have been replaced and works on replacing the rest is going on at a brisk pace. Emphasising on the need for conserving old sluice gates for posterity, the Minister asked the officials not to destroy or disregard them and instead keep them safe in a Museum for public viewing. He also promised grants this year for further development of Brindavan Gardens and the Musical Fountain at KRS Dam.
Nanjangud MLA disappointed over absence of top officials
At the meeting, Nanjangud MLA B. Harshavardhan expressed his disappointment over the absence of several elected representatives including the MPs and top officials of the district administrations of Mysuru, Mandya, Hassan, Chamarajanagar, Ramanagara and Kodagu districts for such an important meeting like this where issues concerning floods and natural calamities in Mysuru region are discussed. He also wanted the Government to issue notices to all those officials who skipped the meeting, seeking an explanation on their absence.
K.R.Nagar MLA S.R. Mahesh, Malavalli MLA Dr. K. Annadani and Srirangapatna MLA Ravindra Srikantaiah addressed the meeting and came up with their observations and suggestions regarding flood control and other havoc caused by rains.
Water Resources Department Secretary Krishnamurthy B. Kulkarni, Chief Engineer R.L.Venkatesh, CNNL Managing Director Shankaregowda, SEs Channakeshava, H.S. Anand and Shivamahadevaiah, Pandavapura Asssitant Commissioner Shivanandamurthy and other officials were present.
Minister visits KRS Dam
Earlier in the morning, Minister Karjol visited the KRS Dam in Srirangapatna taluk.
Speaking to pressperosns, Karjol said he was happy to note that the dam is just 5 ft away from reaching the maximum level, weeks ahead of normal times. Opining that the water level may reach the full level if the inflow remains steady over the next 4-5 days, he said that there are plans to offer bagina to the dam this month itself.
Noting that Chief Minister Bommai will offer bagina once the dam is full and also perhaps for the first time in the month of July, he said that the CM will be holding a high-level meeting later today in Bengaluru to take stock of the flood situation in the State and the relief measures.