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Karnataka: Water bodies to be developed by gram panchayat committees

Currently, lakes and tanks that measure less than 40 hectares come under the RDPR Department. In Karnataka, there are over 28,000 such water bodies in rural areas.  

Published: 03rd February 2018 03:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd February 2018 05:08 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: After the unsuccessful implementation of the Kere Sanjeevini scheme, the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) is now planning to entrust the work of developing and protecting the water bodies that come under it to the Lake Development Monitoring Committee (LDMC) at all gram panchayats. Currently, lakes and tanks that measure less than 40 hectares come under the RDPR Department. In Karnataka, there are over 28,000 such water bodies in rural areas.  

In 2016-17, the state government came up with  Kere Sanjeevini wherein they called for tenders to desilt water bodies, remove encroachments and fence them. Work on 825 lakes/tanks have been taken up so far and Rs 25 crore spent. According to sources, “The number of water bodies taken up for development in the last two years is just 825. Going by this, we will takes years to develop these water bodies, sources added.  “On one hand we are spending ... but maintenance is only for a certain period. Hence, we have decided to hand over the water bodies to the local community who have an emotional connect with them.”

RDPR Director K Kempegowda said the department is framing rules to form a sub-committee at every GP which will monitor the water bodies in its jurisdiction. It will be similar to the School Development Monitoring Committee that looks after government schools. This sub-committee will act as the LDMC and will be authorised to develop lakes, parks, jogging tracks, introduce boating facility, among others. They will also be entrusted with the work of removing silt. They can even look out for the possibility of developing a fishery to generate revenue.

In a note available with TNIE, Nagalambika Devi, Principal Secretary, RDPR Department, has proposed to constitute LDMC at every GP  which will function similar to SDMC under Section 61 (II) of the Karnataka Gram Swaraj and Panchayat Raj Act-1993. The proposal has now been referred to the Parliamentary Affairs Department for approval.

What will panel do
Develop water bodies
Remove silt
Check encroachments
Develop parks, jogging tracks, introduce boating facility, and develop fisheries



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