News Karnataka
Thursday, March 23 2023
Chamraj Nagar

Ummathur lake finally gets water for irrigation after villagers’ collective efforts

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Chamraj Nagar: The Ummathur lake in Kollegala Taluk of Chamarajanagara District got filled with water on Thursday September 2 for irrigation purposes. The villagers have put in a marathon effort to get water from the Kapila River.

Ummathur lake is one among 24 lakes in the district which was selected under Suthur Lift Irrigation Project to divert water from Kapila river. The project started in July 2017 and was expected to be completed in 18 months. However, the project was not completed even after four years. The authorities concerned finally released water into the lake.

The Suthur Lift Irrigation Project was taken up by former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah government at an estimated cost of Rs. 223 crores. The project aimed to fill water into 22 lakes in Yelandur and Chamarajanagara Taluks, and two lakes in Nanjanagud Taluk by diverting Kapila river.

Since 2010, the villagers have been raising the request to fill water into Ummathur lake which spreads across 258 acres. In 2014, villagers staged several agitations to start the project. The MLA N. Mahesh had taken out Padayatra to the lake, in support of the project. The then MLAs S. Jayanna and then MP Dhruva Narayana visited farmers and tried to persuade farmers to withdraw the agitation. But farmers stuck on to the protest. Finally, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah visited the village and laid foundation stone for the project in 2017.

On February 15, villagers held a huge rally and picketed Chamarajanagara Deputy Commissioners’ office for delaying of the project. Cauvery Irrigation Corporation Limited (CICL) officers had promised to provide water before August 31 but failed to do so. Later, villagers planned for another agitation. However, CICL officers let water to Ummathur lake on Thursday.

Sugar Cane Growers’ Association President Bhagyaraj told that they had planned another agitation if the authorities had failed to provide water. He said water can be now used as drinking water by the cattle and will also increase groundwater level.

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