Monday, September 28, 2009

At 101 km, it’s no walk in the park

At 101 km, it’s no walk in the park
At 101 km, it’s no walk in the park

Save Arkavathy River Vedike members started their four-day march on Thursday from Nandi Hills.
Express News Service
First Published : 04 Sep 2009 04:48:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 04 Sep 2009 12:15:11 PM IST

BANGALORE: As the morning mist cleared itself from over the Nandi Hill range on Thursday, a select group of elected representatives, environmental activists, locals and some seers embarked on a 101 km-long padayatra to Thippegondanahalli. This is no ordinary journey. They hope that this endeavour of theirs triggers a movement that will eventually see River Arkavathy gain the bounce back on its course.

At the small pond-like water spot— about 3,800 metres above sea level — marking the origin point of the river, environmentalist Yellappa Reddy specified the way for that hope. “The original ‘gokattas’ and ‘kalyanis’ (drinking water tanks for livestock and tanks for irrigation) that provided for the fullness in the streams of Arkavathy have to be restored,” he said.

Bangalore city area representative and Minister Suresh Kumar corresponded saying that the padayatris will appeal for “shramadhana” by the locals for “clearing the feeder channels” of the river. Yellappa Reddy observed that sand mining and deforestation have completely destroyed the “right of water way” in the Nandi Hill range and noted that the range is the birthplace of not just River Arkavathy but also four others— Papagni, South Pennar, North Pennar and Palar.

Rule to bite

An inter-ministerial Arkavathy Rejuvenation Committee will be set up soon, Suresh Kumar said and noted that government will see to the strict enforcement of the 2003 notification, which bars construction and certain other activities within a kilometre radius of the T G Halli Tank catchment area.

The rejuvenation efforts must restore the Hessarghatta and Thippegondanahalli tanks to their original capacity, daily water supply of 137 million litres and 180 million litres respectively, he said.

Led by Yelahanka MLA Vishwanath, a few hundred activists and locals will traverse Doddaballapur, Hessarghatta and Sondekoppa before winding at T G Halli on September 6. In a symbolic gesture ‘kalashas’ with water from the origin spot are being carried by the padayatris.

Representatives from Malur, Chakkare Bhavi, Shivagange and Bettahalli Mutts besides religious representatives from River Cauvery’s origin- Talacuavery in Kodagu were among those who were present on the occasion. Arkavathy is a tributary of Cauvery.

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