Mekedatu reservoir survey to be completed in 60 days

Irrigation officials want the levels marked to help them assess the areas that will be submerged in the proposed Mekedatu project and the number of trees and vegetation that will be lost.
Area of Mekedatu dam. (Photo | Shiba Prasad Sahu)
Area of Mekedatu dam. (Photo | Shiba Prasad Sahu)

MYSURU: Forest officials have completed 2 km of the survey of the land and trees for the Mekedatu balancing reservoir project. The survey could be completed within 60 days if weather permits, said an officer.

They have put wooden pegs every 20 metre to mark the boundary between Karnataka-Tamil Nadu forests. Irrigation officials coordinating with the forest officials want concrete pillars erected as there is a possibility of wooden pegs getting damaged due to rain, wind and floods which could lead to confusion. But the forest officials want the approval of the principal conservator of forests to put up permanent concrete slabs.

Also, the rain and discharge levels in reservoirs are a concern for the groundstaff as it would be difficult to mark low, medium, and high flood levels inside the forest and identify the area for the proposed reservoir as the area has been experiencing heavy rain. 

Irrigation officials want the levels marked to help them assess the areas that will be submerged in the proposed Mekedatu project and the number of trees and vegetation that will be lost. The dam site is located 3 km downstream at the confluence of Arkavathy and Cauvery rivers at Sangama in the Ramanagara and Chamarajanagar districts. The project will require 5,240 hectares of land, including revenue and forest, that will be acquired as per the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency of Land Acquisition Act, 2013.

The submergence depends on the height of the dam, which is proposed to generate 400 mw of power and meet the drinking water needs of Bengaluru, Ramanagara and other districts. The project also needs environment clearance from the forest ministry.

Conservator Malathi Priya said the officers have been drawn from the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Chamarajnagar, Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Wild Life Sanctuary, MM Hills sanctuary and Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. She said the survey could be completed within 60 days if the weather permits.

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