KARWAR: As the state is witnessing the worst-ever drought, the government has come out with a new scheme to reduce the impact in the coming years.
‘Kere Sanjeevini’ aims at rejuvenating the lakes and cleaning their feeder channels. Several taluks are reeling under severe drought, leading to acute shortage of water for drinking, irrigation and industrial purposes.
Lakes are the main source of water in rural areas. But this year, most of them have dried up due to last year’s scanty rainfall. Though there is water in the bottom level of some lakes, people cannot use it due to the silt.
As many irrigation experts expressed the need for a comprehensive plan to rejuvenate lakes, the state government has given its nod for the new scheme.
The scheme comes with a deadline of June 15 to desilt lakes in the drought-hit taluks and clean their feeder canals.
According to a circular issued by Buvanahalli Nagaraj, director of Suvarna Gramodaya Yojane under the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department on Thursday, priority will be given to rejuvenate lakes which supply water for drinking purposes.
Priority will also be given to lakes where farmers come forward to take the silt drawn out to their farmland. Silt is considered superior as it increases the productivity of farmland soil, which is affected due to heavy usage of hazardous chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
Deputy commissioners, ZP CEOs, executive engineers of Panchayat Raj Department and Minor Irrigation Department are among the senior officials entrusted with the duty to identify the lakes.
Use of excavators is permitted in taking up desilting work till June 15. Earlier, there was restriction on use of machines. Videographing and photographing are a must while taking up disilting.