Mangaluru: In a first-of-its-kind project in Dakshina Kannada, a check dam constructed across River Gurupura (Phalguni) at Malavur was commissioned on Wednesday. The dam is part of a 42-cr multi-village drinking water supply project.
The project will ensure drinking water to 56,000 people in 14 villages coming under eight gram panchayats in and around Malavur. The villages to benefit from the project are Bajpe, Jokatte, Maravur, Kenjar, Permude, Kutthethur, Moodushedde, Padushedde, Thenka Ekkar, Badaga Ekkar, Bala, Kalavar, Surinje and Delanthabettu.
The 199-metre-long dam has a six-metre wide well for the jackwell and water purification unit with five MLD capacity near Kenjar. The ground-level water reservoir has a capacity of 10.15 lakh litres. The elevated water tank at Siddartha Nagar has three lakh litres capacity, while at Bajpe Tarikamba has a capacity of 2.5 lakh litres.
Speaking on the occasion, Forest Minister Ramanath Rai said, "A similar ongoing project at Sangabettu is expected to be completed within a week, while work at Kinnigoli may be prolonged owing to the unscientific works undertaken by a Hyderabad-based firm. If the ongoing work at Ulayibettu is completed, we can address the drinking water needs of Bantwal taluk, which has been declared drought-hit. Two more such projects are sanctioned for the district."
Rajya Sabha member Oscar Fernandes said the Malavur water project would help in recharging the water table and augment water supply to open wells and also borewells.
Earlier, Moodbidri MLA K Abhayachandra Jain recalled the birth of the initiative, which went through various phases before finally becoming a reality. The presidents of all eight gram panchayats had raised donations up to Rs two lakh each towards funding the project.
Palemar not invited
Former BJP minister Krishna J Palemar was angry at not being invited for the inauguration of Malavur dam.
Palemar said it was during his tenure as minister in the BJP government that the then chief minister BS Yeddyurappa released Rs 21 crore for the project. "The Congress leaders are hiding the fact that Malavur dam is BJP's achievement. They should remember that the work on the dam had come to a standstill till the Yeddyurappa government released funds. The money was released after I submitted a proposal. K Abhayachandra Jain was the MLA then." he claimed.