Kushalnagar: Ground-breaking ceremony for a mega Rs. 89-lakh project to remove silt from River Cauvery in the Kushalnagar belt to prevent flooding of the town was performed this morning. Madikeri MLA M.P. Appachu Ranjan performed the ceremony in the presence of Kodlipet’s Kirkodli Mutt Seer Sadashiva Swamiji.
The Kodagu District Administration had agreed for the project based on the request by Kushalnagar Cauvery Pravaha Santhrasthara Vedike (Forum for flood affected) and funds were released accordingly by the State Government.
Previous two years, there was unprecedented flooding in Kushalnagar and most of the areas inside the town were under water for weeks together. Kodagu received the highest-ever rainfall for August 2018 surpassing an 87-year-old record. Last year too, the district received high rainfall and as a result, rivers were in full spate.
Last year, for the first time, the 400-year-old bridge near Kushalnagar-Koppa border (next to the newly-constructed bridge) submerged on Aug. 10. This rain, coupled with huge water release from Harangi Dam, brought untold miseries to the people of Kushalnagar.
This year, the silt is being removed to prevent flooding like in the previous years. An area of 300-metre length and 100-metre width has been identified in the surroundings of Rasool Layout, Muthappa Swamy Temple and Ayyappa Swamy Temple.
The mud-and-sand combined silt is being removed by earth movers and the excavated earth will be dumped on the river side. Also, channels will be built so that rainwater that floods Kushalnagar town can smoothly enter the river. PR Constructions has been given the contract of silt removal.
Silt removal from Harangi Dam
MLA Appachu Ranjan told ‘Star of Mysore’ today that a proposal to lift over one tmcft (one thousand million cubic feet) of silt that has accumulated at Harangi Dam is pending with the State Government.
Harangi is the main Cauvery water supply reservoir from the catchment areas to Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam in Mandya, the lifeline of South Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Due to heavy silt deposit, enough water cannot be stored, leading to annual water shortage. Therefore, it has been recommended to the Government to take measures to remove silt so that more water can be stored, he said.
The Karnataka Engineers Research Station (KERS) at KRS Dam in Mandya and Geo Marine Solutions Pvt. Ltd. had studied the silt deposits and accepting its recommendations, the State Government had released Rs. 75 crore to remove silt. “We have requested the Government to release Rs. 130 crore and the proposal is yet to be accepted as the Government is busy in COVID-19 battle,” the MLA said.
River course correction
Due to major landslides, many rivers and tributaries have changed its course. Last year, the inflow from River Cauvery was more than Harangi River. Every year, Harangi River reports highest inflow to the Harangi Dam and last year’s phenomenon was unique. While Harangi River originates in the Pushpagiri Hills, Cauvery takes birth in Talacauvery and flows through Bhagamandala, Kushalnagar and Koodige. Both the rivers meet at Koodumangaluru and flow into KRS Dam.
“Last year, Harangi River reported an inflow of 30,000 to 35,000 cusecs while Cauvery River reported an inflow of 80,000 to 85,000 cusecs. This is because the rivers have changed course and have accumulated huge silt due to landslides of 2018. We need money for river course correction and silt removal and that’s why we have asked for Rs. 130 crore,” Appachu Ranjan said.
Dy.SP Shylendra, Kushalnagar Panchayat CEO Sujay Kumar, Kushalnagar Cauvery Pravaha Santhrasthara Vedike President Chandra Mohan, members Uday Kumar, M.M. Charan, Varadha and Kodagana Harsha were present.