BENGALURU: A trial run on lifting waters from four tributaries of Netravathi river, as planned under the first phase of Yettinahole flood river diversion project, will begin in December.“Nearly 75 per cent of lift component works under the first phase of Yettinahole project, launched in 2012, have been completed at a total cost of about Rs 3,700 crore,’’ sources in Visvesvaraya Jala Nigam Limited (VJNL, a special purpose vehicle set up to implement the project) told The New Indian Express.
Senior officials in VJNL revealed that a bridge across Hemavathy river in Haronally will carry the pipelines. From here, water, with help of gravity, will be diverted to a reservoir planned at Bhairagondlu in Koratagere taluk. The construction of a gravity canal up to a distance of 264 km, as envisaged under the second phase, has begun. The canal has been laid along a distance of nearly 150 km. An estimate on laying the pipeline for the remaining 40 km has been submitted to the government, a source said.
The reservoir planned at Bhairagondlu in Koratagere taluk to impound 5.76 tmc of water is expected to submerge 5,426 acres of fertile land spread over five villages in Kortigere and Doddaballapur taluks. “The compensation amount for farmers will exceed Rs 1,700 crore,’’ according to a source. Thus VJNL has decided to acquire lands for the reservoir project on the lines of Pavagada Solar Park.
“Promoters of the solar park did not acquire land but are paying an annual rent to farmers. Thus, the annual rent to farmers who would lose their land to the reservoir project would be a mere Rs 54 crore,’’ a source in VJNL revealed. VJNL Managing Director K Jaiprakash confirmed that the Pavagada model of renting land was discussed in the first meeting convened by Chief Minister H D Kurmaraswamy a week ago.
VJNL keen to seek external assistance
In 2012, then state government had released Rs 12,912.36 crore for the implementation of the Yettinahole flood river diversion project. However, delay in implementing the project resulted in cost escalation. VJNL is now looking at external agencies to fund its third and crucial phase of building feeder canals in order to supply water to 5,600 villages in 29 taluks.