This town does not toy with drought

People in Channapatna taluk in Ramanagar district have enough drinking water for two months.

Bengaluru: Channapatna, the toy town, famous for its wooden dolls and toys, is now doling out lessons in water storage and management to the rest of the state, now reeling under a severe drought.

At a time when almost all taluks are facing an acute shortage of water owing to failure of rains, people in Channapatna taluk in Ramanagar district have enough drinking water for two months, thanks to over 100 small and big sized tanks which are inter-connected. Till 2014, the 165 odd villages in the taluk had had to struggle for a potful of clean water in summer.

It was then that Cauvery Niravari Nigama proposed filling up the 100 tanks with water from Iggalur Barrage, constructed mainly to collect water from Visvesvaraya Canal and KM Doddi Canal which are fed by KRS dam. The plan, conceived in 2011 by Channapatna MLA C.P. Yogeshwar, was completed in December 2014 and has solved the water crisis and also recharged over 20,000 borewells.

An engineer said the process of filling up the tanks begins when seepage water collects at Iggalur Barrage, from where water is pumped out and released into the tanks. Even the water in Shimsha River is pumped into tanks in the vicinity. Before construction of the barrage, unused water used to flow to Tamil Nadu.

The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in its final order, had allocated 0.9 tmcft water to Karnataka, which is being used judiciously every year without allowing it to go waste. Though KRS dam did not fill up last year due to scanty rain, Channapatna still managed to utilize 0.9 tmcft of water.

At present, the hundred tanks have 55-60 per cent water, sufficient to meet the drinking water needs of the taluk, leaving others green with envy. The distance from one tank to the other tank is around 3 km and all of them are connected, supplementing their resources.

The engineer said adopting the Channapatna model will help address drinking water shortage in summer, and added that a bit of brainstorming on how to harness every drop of water and making sure it does not go waste or seeps away, is what the Channapatna model is all about.

A boon to farmers
Chennegowda, who owns two acres of land at Singarajapura village in Channapatna, is a happy man. He was once dependent on the rain gods to irrigate his crops but now he gets enough water from Singarajapura Tank for agriculture.

"This has come as a boon for small farmers like me. A few years ago, I was planning to sell my land due to acute shortage of water. Now I am happy that I am able to grow two crops a year besides vegetables".

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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