Monday, September 28, 2009

Arkavathy river ignored

Arkavathy river ignored
Arkavathy river ignored in the fight for water
Express News Service
First Published : 26 Jul 2009 03:48:17 AM IST
Last Updated : 26 Jul 2009 10:30:05 AM IST

: Experts and officials with in-depth knowledge of the issues surrounding Arkavathy and who are instrumental for its revival, gave varied opinions and suggestions in a workshop on rejuvenation and sustenance of Arkavathy, organised jointly by the Geological Society of India and the city-based Global Academy of Technology
, on Saturday .

According to Water Resources Development Organisation chief engineer CV Patil, it is a case of “straying away from basics.” Be it tank-bed encroachments or contamination of water bodies, the existing laws have provisions for addressing them locally - at the level of tahsildars and deputy commissioners, he said, adding that the issue concerns more with inter-sectoral planning and implementation than constituting a board or authority .

MN Tippeswamy, a retired chief engineer of Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board who was among the engineers who implemented the Cauvery water supply in Bangalore, saw the need for a catchment area authority like the Sydney Catchment Authority in Australia .

The multiplicity of agencies should be brought under one head, he said .

Substantiating it, he said nobody has bothered why the Hessarghatta tank and the TG Halli reservoir - fed by Arkavathy - do not serve the city’s needs any more .

A study done by Bangalore Metroplotian Area Development Authority (2001) too has not been acted upon, Thippeswamy said .

Wary of verdict

On the other hand, consultant and retired chief engineer (Irrigation) Captain Raja Rao cautioned about revival programmes that do not take into account the eventuality when the verdict of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal is enforced. The verdict clamps down on the amount of surface water that the state can use, he said, pointing out that rejuvenation of Arkavathy should concern more with raising the level of groundwater .

But officers involved in the revival of minor irrigation tanks under the worldbank funded Jala Samvardhane Yojane Sangha (JSYS) said that the CWDT verdict should not be a worry in this case .

The JSYS experience is that surface water improves proportionally when the groundwater table improves, they said.

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