The Bennethora Major Irrigation Project Dam in Kalaburagi has been included in the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Programme.— Photo: Arun Kulkarni
Six dams, storing water for major and medium irrigation projects in Kalaburagi Irrigation Zone in Kalaburagi, Yadgir and Bidar districts, have been selected for the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Programme (DRIP).
The six dams are the Karanja Major Irrigation Project and the Upper Mullamari Medium Irrigation Project in Bidar, the Bennethora Major irrigation Project, the Amarja and the Chandrampalli Medium Irrigation Project in Kalaburagi district and the Hattikuni Medium Irrigation Project in Yadgir district.
Chief Engineer of Kalaburagi Irrigation Zone Jagannath Halangi said here on Saturday that a proposal for including the Lower Mullamari Project Dam in Kalaburagi district was pending. The six dams required immediate strengthening, repairs and rejuvenation.
Mr. Halangi said that attention would be given for the better upkeep of the radial gates in the dams by replacing rubber seals, taking up sand blasting, among others.
Mr. Halangi said that while the Bennethora Major Irrigation project has been sanctioned Rs. 8.80 crore under DRIP, Karanja Major Irrigation project had been sanctioned Rs. 4.50 crore, Chandrampalli dam in Chincholi taluk had been sanctioned Rs. 3.84 crore, Hattikuni Dam in Yadgir district had been sanctioned Rs. 3.52 crore, Upper Mullamari Project Dam in Bidar district has been sanctioned a sum of Rs. 3.35 crore and Amarja Medium Irrigation Project Dam has been sanctioned Rs. 3.30 crore.
Rs. 47 cr. released to tackle drinking water shortage
Another Rs. 50 crore to be released by the end of March
Municipal Administration and Minority Affairs Minister Qamarul Islam has said that the government is fully prepared to tackle drinking water shortage in urban and rural areas during summer till the onset of monsoon in the State.
Briefing presspersons after chairing a review meeting here on Wednesday on shortage of drinking water and fodder for cattle in the district, Mr. Qamarul Islam said that Rs. 47 crore has been released to all urban local bodies in the State for the purpose. Directions have also been issued to prepare action plan for tackling the problem in urban local bodies till the onset of monsoon.
The Minister said that the government will release another Rs. 50 crore by the end of March to all urban local bodies in this connection. Referring to the drinking water situation in urban local bodies in Kalaburagi district, Mr. Qamarul Islam said that the situation was serious in Kalaburagi, Jewargi and Aland towns and steps have been taken to tackle the problem effectively.
He said that .2 tmcft of water was being released from Kallur Barrage across the Bhima to Saradagi Barrage which would be enough to provide drinking water to Kalaburagi till mid-June.
A portion of the released water from Kallur would be released to the Kattisangavi intake well in the Bhima to provide drinking water to Jewargi town also.
Instructions have been issued to officials to prepare an action plan to meet the drinking water shortage in Aland town.
The level in the Amarja Dam, which provides drinking water to Aland town, had reached dead storage. In Kalaburagi district, water was being supplied through tankers to 88 villages. Of them, 81 are in Aland, four in Chincholi and the remaining in Afzalpur, Sedam and Chittapur taluks. The taluk-level task force committees headed by the MLAs have been asked to prepare action plans.
Mr. Qamarul Islam said that the situation is likely to deteriorate in the coming days and the district administration is gearing up to take up supply of water through tankers in at least 300 villages likely to face shortage of drinking water.
On the fodder situation, he said that the district administration has opened 27 fodder banks and fodder was being provided at a subsidised cost of Rs. 3 a kg. It has opened six goshalas, including one private goshala, in the district. The district administration was ready to open 10 more goshalas.
Modernisation of canal network of Bennethora project picks up pace
It is designed to irrigate 21,000 hectares of land in the drought-prone Chittapur and Sedam taluks
Delayed project:The work on laying a concreting lining on the Right Bank Canal of the Bennethora Major Irrigation Project in progress in Kalaburagi district. —Photo: Arun Kulkarni
With the modernisation of the canal network in the multi-crore Bennethora Major Irrigation Project picking up speed, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for this inordinately delayed project designed to irrigate 21,000 hectares of land in the drought-prone Chittapur and Sedam taluks in Kalaburagi district.
The State government gave its approval for the modernisation of the canal network, which was in a bad shape due to reasons such as its non use for decades together, long ago. The work included replacement of the Shahabad slab lining and reinforced cement concrete (RCC) lining of the main canal and distributaries at a cost of Rs. 174 crore.
According to official information available with The Hindu , the RCC lining of the main canal has been completed on 29 km of the total length of 82 km in the Right Bank Canal and 14 km of the 62 km of the Left Bank Canal and the work in the rest of the length of the main canal and distributaries has been hastened to complete it by November-end.
The excavation work and removal of the Shahabad stone slabs in the distributaries in both the Right Bank Canal and the Left Bank Canal have also been taken up and the RCC lining work would be soon taken up in the distributaries. Initially, the cost of the modernisation work of the canal and distributary network was put at Rs. 150 crore, but a team of technical experts who visited the project had increased it to Rs. 172.12 crore.
The Bennethora Major Irrigation project taken up in 1972 as a drought relief work got bogged down due to reasons including lack of financial allocations in subsequent years. The canals and distributaries constructed even before the impounding of the water in the Bennethora Dam were damaged due to the rigours of time.
The project has been allocated 5.29 tmcft of water. Although the water was impounded in the Bennethora Dam several years ago and the project “inaugurated” officially by the then Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, the water had not reached the command areas even once after the so called inauguration due to faulty canal systems.
Water Resource Minister M.B. Patil is visiting the project on Monday to review the progress.
Check dams now come as a boon for drought-hit villages in Kalaburagi
At least 100 such dams are proposedin Aland taluk
A multi-arched check dam at Waddalli in Afzalpur taluk.— PHOTO: Arun Kulkarni
The construction of cost-effective multi-arched check dams across streams and nalas in villages that were severely affected by drinking water shortage last summer has started paying rich dividends. Almost all the borewells in the vicinity of these check dams have been revived now.
The construction of multi-arched check dams was first popularised in Bidar district in 2003 by the then Chief Executive O fficerof Bidar Zilla Panchayat, Naveen Raj Singh, who is now Secretary, Tourism Department. It has come as a boon for people in the water-starved villages of Aland, Afzalpur and other taluks in the district.
Anirudh Sravan, Chief Executive Officer of the Kalaburagi Zilla Panchayat, has decided to take up large-scale construction of multi-arched check dams throughout the district in an effort to use every drop of rainwater flowing through the nalas and streams during monsoon and save them to recharge the depleted groundwater reserves.
Speaking to The Hindu here, Mr. Sravan said that the ZP proposes to take up construction of at least 50 check dams in each one of the seven taluks in the district. At least 100 check dams are proposed in Aland taluk, which was one of the worst-hit last summer with more than 200 villages provided drinking water through tankers till the onset of monsoon. Even now, one village in the taluk — Bhusnur — is being supplied water through tankers.
Mr. Sravan said that in Afzalpur taluk, six check dams were constructed — two across the Waddalli stream in Waddalli village, one at Hallabai Kolla stream at Gobbur B., another in Chowdapur tanda, and two more in Revoor (K) and Revoor (B) villages.
During the first spell of rain, after the construction of the check dam at Waddalli, water was impounded and all the borewells, including six private borewells and three borewells providing drinking water to Waddalli and other villages, were fully recharged. The villages, which were being provided tanker water, now can draw water from the borewells, he said.
The construction of the check dams was taken up under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA), with the cost of each check dam ranging from Rs. 4 lakh to Rs. 7 lakh. A conventional dam costs more than three times as much and has a lower lifespan. The construction of these check dams in Kalaburagi district was taken up under MGNREGA
Software Engineer On Weekdays, Farmer On Weekends: How TBI Stories Inspired a Man to Create Change
An IT engineer at Cognizant Technologies, Bengaluru, Mahesh works for his company from Monday to Friday and works for his village over the weekend. Every Friday night, this software engineer travels more than 600 km from Bengaluru to reach his village Kawlaga [K] in Kalaburagi (Gulbarga) district of Karnataka and become a farmer until Sunday night. And he blames The Better India for this! Mahesh came across The Better India a year and a half ago, and has since been a regular reader. He doesn’t even remember how many stories he has read so far! But he clearly remembers a few that changed his life.
“I always wanted to do farming, but did not have the courage to change the routine life I was living. But the stories on The Better India, especially the ones in which people have left their jobs to do natural farming were the trigger for my decision,” says Mahesh.
Mahesh was born in a farmer’s family in the small village of Kawlaga [K]. His father and grandfather faced so many hardships being farmers that they never wanted their children to become farmers. So Mahesh was always kept away from the fields and was encouraged to study. Also read: This Man Built a House That Harvests Rainwater, Produces Solar Energy, Organic Food, and Biogas!
After his primary education, Mahesh shifted to Gulbarga for further education. He completed his B.Tech in IT engineering from P.D.A College of Engineering, Kalaburagi, in 2007 and got placed in a software company.
“My parents and relatives and most of my friends were very happy with my job. But my heart remained in farming. Moreover, whenever I would come back to my village, there were youngsters who kept asking me if I can find a job for them in the city. They were ready to leave their village for a job of Rs.8,000 to Rs.9,000. The youth were getting prone to addiction and the women were suffering. Everyone wanted to just run away from the situation,” says Mahesh
“On the other hand, in big cities like Bengaluru a person is born in an ICU and ends up in an ICU to die. We are focusing on building more hospitals and inventing more medicines to handle this situation and we call it development. But we need to focus on the root cause, which is soil. The chemical fertilizers and pesticides have made our soil poisonous and we are eating poisonous food grown from this soil. It’s time to fix this,” he adds.
Mahesh truly wanted to get back to natural farming to ensure healthy food for common citizens and to generate employment in his village to stop migration. He wanted to encourage young generation to do natural farming instead of searching job in cities with less salary.
Mahesh’s farm in Kawlaga[K]
However, he had seen this vicious cycle that a farmer gets trapped in. According to Mahesh, a farmer is always at a loss, regardless of whether nature is on his side or not. If it is drought then the prices of products are high, but the yield is so low that the farmer ends up earning less than what is invested. Ironically, if the weather conditions are favorable, the production is so high that the rates are lowered. Farmers cannot even store the yield and wait for the prices to go high due to lack of access to warehouses. On top of that is the repayment of loans to moneylenders on huge interest rates.
This cycle repeats, until the farmer ultimately loses his land.
“I realized that the only way out of this horrible cycle was to have surplus money so that we can hold our yield until we get the proper rates, to own infrastructure like cowsheds and warehouses, and to do direct marketing of our produce after value addition,” explains Mahesh.
He then decided to continue with his job until he gathered the resources. He also considered leasing out his 40-acre ancestral land for farming. However, he soon realized that that could make the soil even more poisonous as he had no control over the amount of fertilizers or pesticides used. Also read: Assam Diaries: How a Brother-Sister Duo Is Running a 600-Hectare Organic Tea Estate Mahesh was not sure how he would carry on with his mission, when one fine day he came across the stories on The Better India.
Mahesh was inspired by the stories on The Better India
“There were stories of farmers who switched to natural farming. There were success stories of villages which became self sustainable. And then I came across stories of successful professionals who left their job and switched to farming,” says Mahesh.
One such story was of Vinoth Kumar, an engineer with an MBA degree, who gave up his comfortable job and city life to become a full-time organic farmer. After reading his story, Mahesh realized that he had to take a huge step and start farming.
Mahesh started farming in April 2016 on the day of Ugadi. But he did not leave his job. He was sure that he needed the money if anything went wrong. He also wanted to be ready with the infrastructural needs of farming like a pond, warehouse and cowshed.
Mahesh decided to do totally natural and organic farming. As all other farmers who owned the adjacent farms were using chemical pesticides, Mahesh’s farm was naturally attacked by pests. This was a challenge, which again was taken up by Mahesh with organic pesticides and attracting birds by throwing grain on his farms.
Stories of Avantika and Mrityunjay, Solar Suresh, Banker-turned-farmer, Sankalp Sharma, journalist-turned-farmer, Girindranath Jha and many more kept motivating Mahesh. He contacted these unsung heroes through the contact details mentioned on TBI and got guidance from them to move ahead with his mission.
Bet you’re wondering how Mahesh is doing all this as well as holding a job as a full-time software engineer. Mahesh travels every Friday night from Bengaluru to his village and works on his farm over the weekend. He then travels back on Sunday night. He has the support of his colleagues and managers.
Mahesh works on his farms over the weekend
He also gives credit to Mr.Bailappa who takes care of his farm and all the contractual farmers who work on his farm on the weekdays.
Today, Mahesh has harvested almost 30 different varieties of millets and lentils from indigenous seeds, which are purely organic. He recently received an award for organic/natural farming from the district agriculture department. He is adding value to his Tur crop by making natural tur dal using the traditional method, and it has got good demand in the market.
Tur Daal grown organically at Mahesh’s farm
“My goal is – poison free soil, poison free food and poison free world, and to have this food reach the common man for a nominal price. And I will do anything to achieve this goal. People think that it is hard for me to travel and work on weekends. But I enjoy doing this,” says Mahesh.
As soon as Mahesh achieves his aim of building good infrastructural support for farming, he is determined to quit his job and take up farming full time. He wishes to make his village chemical free by 2025 with the help of all the villagers and nature lovers.
We hope that just like Mahesh was inspired by the stories on TBI, many more will be inspired by Mahesh’s story. And if you are one of them, let us know!
ಕಲಬುರ್ಗಿ ನಗರಕ್ಕೆ ನೀರು ಪೂರೈಸುವ ಬೆಣ್ಣೆತೊರಾ ಜಲಾಶಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಸಾಕಷ್ಟು ಹಾಗೂ ಭೀಮಾ ನದಿಯ ಸರಡಗಿ ಬ್ಯಾರೇಜ್*ನಲ್ಲಿ ಎರಡು ತಿಂಗಳಿಗೆ ಸಾಲುವಷ್ಟು ನೀರಿದೆ. ಹೀಗಾಗಿ ಎರಡು ತಿಂಗಳು ನಗರಕ್ಕೆ ನೀರು ಪೂರೈಸಲು ಯಾವುದೇ ತೊಂದರೆ ಇಲ್ಲ ಎಂಬುದು ಅಧಿಕಾರಿಗಳ ವಿವರಣೆ.
ಕಲಬುರ್ಗಿ: ಕಲಬುರ್ಗಿ ನಗರಕ್ಕೆ ನೀರು ಪೂರೈಸುವ ಬೆಣ್ಣೆತೊರಾ ಜಲಾಶಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಸಾಕಷ್ಟು ಹಾಗೂ ಭೀಮಾ ನದಿಯ ಸರಡಗಿ ಬ್ಯಾರೇಜ್*ನಲ್ಲಿ ಎರಡು ತಿಂಗಳಿಗೆ ಸಾಲುವಷ್ಟು ನೀರಿದೆ. ಹೀಗಾಗಿ ಎರಡು ತಿಂಗಳು ನಗರಕ್ಕೆ ನೀರು ಪೂರೈಸಲು ಯಾವುದೇ ತೊಂದರೆ ಇಲ್ಲ ಎಂಬುದು ಅಧಿಕಾರಿಗಳ ವಿವರಣೆ.
ಭೀಮಾ ನದಿಗೆ ಸರಡಗಿ ಬಳಿ ನಿರ್ಮಿಸಿರುವ ಬ್ಯಾರೇಜ್*ನಿಂದ ನಿತ್ಯ 5.5 ಕೋಟಿ ಲೀಟರ್* ಹಾಗೂ ಬೆಣ್ಣೆತೊರಾ ಜಲಾಶಯದಿಂದ ನಿತ್ಯ 2 ಕೋಟಿ ಲೀಟರ್* ಹೀಗೆ ಒಟ್ಟಾರೆ 7 ಕೋಟಿ ಲೀಟರ್* ನೀರು ಪೂರೈಸಲಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ. ಬೆಣ್ಣೆತೊರಾ ಜಲಾಶಯದಿಂದ ನಗರದ ಶೇ 30ರಷ್ಟು ಪ್ರದೇಶಕ್ಕೆ ನೀರು ಪೂರೈಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದರೆ, ಶೇ 70ರಷ್ಟು ಪ್ರದೇಶಕ್ಕೆ ಭೀಮಾ ನದಿಯ ನೀರು ಆಸರೆ.
‘ಕಲಬುರ್ಗಿ ನಗರದ 55 ವಾರ್ಡ್*ಗಳ ಪೈಕಿ ನಾಲ್ಕು ವಾರ್ಡ್*ಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಪೂರ್ಣವಾಗಿ ಹಾಗೂ ಏಳು ವಾರ್ಡ್*ಗಳ ಭಾಗಶಃ ಪ್ರದೇಶಗಳಿಗೆ ನಿರಂತರ ನೀರು (24/7) ಪೂರೈಸಲಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ. ಉಳಿದ ಪ್ರದೇಶಗಳಿಗೆ ಮೂರು ದಿನಕ್ಕೊಮ್ಮೆ ನೀರು ಕೊಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದೇವೆ. ನೀರಿನ ಸಂಗ್ರಹ ಇರುವುದರಿಂದ ನೀರು ಪೂರೈಕೆಯ ಈ ಅವಧಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ವ್ಯತ್ಯಾಸ ಆಗದು’ ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಾರೆ ಕಲಬುರ್ಗಿ ನಗರಕ್ಕೆ ನೀರು ಪೂರೈಸುವ ಹೊಣೆ ಹೊತ್ತಿರುವ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ನಗರ ನೀರು ಸರಬರಾಜು ಮತ್ತು ಒಳಚರಂಡಿ ಮಂಡಳಿಯ ಕಲಬುರ್ಗಿಯ ಕಾರ್ಯನಿರ್ವಾಹಕ ಎಂಜಿನಿಯರ್* ಆರ್*.ವಿ. ಪಾಟೀಲ.
ಭೀಮಾ ನದಿಯ ಸರಡಗಿ ಬ್ಯಾರೇಜ್*ನಲ್ಲಿ ಸದ್ಯ 150 ಎಂಸಿಎಫ್*ಟಿ ನೀರು ಸಂಗ್ರಹ ಇದೆ. ಅದರಲ್ಲಿ ಶೇ 20ರಷ್ಟು ಅಂದರೆ 30 ಎಂಸಿಎಫ್*ಟಿ ನೀರು ಆವಿಯಾಗುವ ಸಾಧ್ಯತೆ ಇದ್ದು, 120 ಎಂಸಿಎಫ್*ಟಿ ನೀರು ಉಳಿಯಲಿದೆ. ಸರಡಗಿ ಬ್ಯಾರೇಜ್*ನಿಂದ ಕಲಬುರ್ಗಿ ನಗರಕ್ಕೆ ನಿತ್ಯ 2 ಎಂಸಿಎಫ್*ಟಿ (55 ಎಂಎಲ್*ಡಿ) ನೀರು ಪೂರೈಸಲಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ. ಇದೇ ಪ್ರಮಾಣದಲ್ಲಿ ನಿತ್ಯ ನೀರು ಪೂರೈಸಿದರೆ ಏಪ್ರಿಲ್* ಅಂತ್ಯದವರೆಗೆ ಅಲ್ಲಿಯ ನೀರು ಸಾಕಾಗಲಿದೆ.
‘ಏಪ್ರಿಲ್ ನಂತರ ಕಲ್ಲೂರ ಬ್ಯಾರೇಜ್*ನಿಂದ ಸರಡಗಿ ಬ್ಯಾರೇಜ್*ಗೆ ನೀರು ಬಿಡಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕಾಗಬಹುದು. ನಗರದಲ್ಲಿ ಕೊಳವೆಬಾವಿಗಳ ದುರಸ್ತಿಯೂ ಸೇರಿದಂತೆ ಇತರೆ ತುರ್ತು ಕೆಲಸಗಳಿಗೆ ಕ್ರಿಯಾಯೋಜನೆ ತಯಾರಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದೇವೆ’ ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಾರೆ ಪಾಟೀಲ.
ಇನ್ನು ಬೆಣ್ಣೆತೊರಾ ಜಲಾಶಯದಿಂದ ನಿತ್ಯ 0.7 ಎಂಸಿಎಫ್*ಟಿ ನೀರು ಪಡೆಯಲಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ. ಆ ಜಲಾಶಯದಲ್ಲಿ 4.15 ಟಿಎಂಸಿ ಅಡಿ (4150 ಎಂಸಿಎಫ್*ಟಿ) ನೀರು ಸಂಗ್ರಹ ಇರುವುದರಿಂದ ಅಲ್ಲಿಂದ ನಗರಕ್ಕೆ ನೀರು ಪೂರೈಸಲು ಯಾವುದೇ ಸಮಸ್ಯೆ ಇಲ್ಲ.
‘ಬೆಣ್ಣೆತೊರಾ ಜಲಾಶಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಕಳೆದ ವರ್ಷ ಈ ಅವಧಿಯಲ್ಲಿ 1.37 ಟಿಎಂಸಿ ಅಡಿ ನೀರು ಇತ್ತು. ಈ ವರ್ಷ 10 ಸಾವಿರ ಎಕರೆ ನೀರಾವರಿಗೆ ನೀರು ಹರಿಸಿದ ನಂತರವೂ ಜಲಾಶಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಸಾಕಷ್ಟು ನೀರಿನ ಸಂಗ್ರಹ ಇದೆ. ಈ ಬೇಸಿಗೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕುಡಿಯಲು ನೀರು ಪೂರೈಸಿದ ನಂತರವೂ ಉಳಿಯುವ ನೀರನ್ನು ಮುಂದಿನ ಹಂಗಾಮಿನ ಬೆಳೆಗಳಿಗೂ ಹರಿಸಬಹುದು’ ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಾರೆ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ನೀರಾವರಿ ನಿಗಮದ ಕಲಬುರ್ಗಿ ನೀರಾವರಿ ವಲಯದ ಮುಖ್ಯ ಎಂಜಿನಿಯರ್* ಜಗನ್ನಾಥ ಹಾಲಿಂಗೆ ಅವರು.
The Kalaburagi red gram, “Gulbarga Tur Dal”, which is known internationally for its superior quality, will soon be added to the list of Karnataka producers with the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
Dean of Agriculture College Jayaprakash R. Patil and senior agriculture scientist Raju Teggalli, addressing presspersons at the Agriculture Research Station in Kalaburagi on Wednesday, said that the University of Agriculture Sciences (UAS) Raichur and the Karnataka Red Gram Development Board, with the help of ICRISAT, Intellectual Property Facilitation Centre (IPFC), Hyderabad, filed an application with the Geographical Indications (GI) Registry in September 2017. Geographical Indication (GI) tag for “Gulbarga Tur Dal” will be awarded within a month from now.
Dr. Patil said that the red gram grown here has distinctive features having to do with this region’s unique soil and climatic conditions. The prominent characteristics of the crop grown in Kalaburagi district are good taste and aroma compared to those grown elsewhere. It consumes less time to cook when compared to tur dal grown in other regions.
Dr. Teggalli added that initially conferring of GI status may not work wonders for the farmers of the district, but in the long run, farmers and manufactures will be able to get better price for the brand in the market.
Red gram is considered to be the main kharif crop in the region. Of the total 9 lakh hectares of red gram cultivated across the State, 3.7 lakh hectares under red gram is in Kalaburagi district.
Farm scientist Muniswamy said that securing GI for the product will help farmers in getting premium price and creating international demand for produces. “The ultimate beneficiaries of this whole process are farmers,” he added.
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