- 8.80 lakh cubic metres of deposited silt to be removed from Harangi Reservoir
- Takes exception to illegal private resorts fleecing tourists in Kabini backwaters
Kushalnagar: After a long delay, the State Government will finally begin work on removing silt from the Harangi Dam in Kodagu district in November this year.
Harangi is the main Cauvery water supply reservoir from the catchment areas to Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam in Mandya. There is a huge amount of silt deposited inside the Harangi Dam and this is making it incapable of storing more water, especially during the crisis months.
Minister for Water Resources Govind M. Karjol said the State Cabinet has already approved the release of Rs. 130 crore for silt removal. The Minister was speaking to reporters after visiting the Harangi Dam backwaters yesterday.
“A large quantity of silt had been deposited in Harangi reservoir and its downstream after the heavy rains of 2018 led to widespread landslips in the region. Thousands of tonnes of sand and rocks mixed with trees and coffee estates were washed away from Hattihole and Madapura regions during the flash floods and massive landslides in August-September 2018,” Karjol said.
To store more water
Realising the gravity of the situation, the State Government had ordered a survey of the river in 2018-2019 to ascertain the amount of silt deposited in the Dam, the Minister said. “As per the action plan, 8.80 lakh cubic metres of silt will be removed and this will enable the storage of more water,” Karjol said.
Projects are being planned to construct gabion walls across vulnerable river basins and desilting work will be undertaken to increase storage capacity. “Of the Rs. 130 crore, about Rs. 40 crore will be spent on removing silt deposited in the river and the Dam while a total of 314 bridges that had been damaged will be repaired,” the Minister said.
Madikeri MLA Appachu Ranjan, who accompanied the Minister, said that the Harangi Dam and its backwaters hold over 2.5 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) of silt and must be cleared on an urgent basis.
“If silt is cleared, more water can be stored and if not, there is more danger of floods washing away properties in the coming monsoon,” he said.
Farmers in the Harangi Command Areas require over 18 tmcft of water for a crop in Harangi Command Areas. Despite Harangi Reservoir getting filled two to three times during the rainy season, the authorities are not able to supply water for summer crops due to accumulated silt, the MLA noted.
Study of silt deposits
He told the Minister that the action plan for the removal of silt in the reservoir and the river was being prepared for the last three years and the work had been put off due to various reasons.
“A team of experts from the National Institute of Hydrology in Roorkee had already carried out a study on the silt removal exercise and a Maharashtra-based company, which had bagged the tender, had been entrusted with the works,” he told the Minister.
Later, the Minister visited surrounding streams at Haraduru, Hattihole and Kote Abbi Falls, and later said work on restoring damaged bridges in these areas will be carried out soon.
Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd. Managing Director Shankare Gowda, Chief Engineer Venkatesh and others were present.
The Minister and the official team also visited the Kabini Dam in H.D. Kote and took exception to the mushrooming of illegal resorts and home stay-type accommodations in the Kabini backwaters.
He said that he will instruct officers to take action against such unauthorised accommodations that are fleecing tourists in the name of being amidst nature.