Pramod Madhwaraj, Minister for Fisheries, Youth Empowerment and Sports, said on Tuesday that the Udupi City Municipal Council was likely to resort to water rationing soon so that water stock at Baje dam against the Swarna lasted till the end of May.
Addressing presspersons here, Mr. Madhwaraj said that if the water was allowed to be used in the same manner as at present, the water stock would last only till April 15. Hence, water rationing had become essential.
Compared to last year, the water stock situation was only slightly better. There was 55 cm more water in the Baje dam (called Swarna First Stage) compared to last year. The water level the dam, about 15 km from here, presently stood at 5.3 m.
There was 70 cm of water at the Shiroor dam (called Swarna Second Stage), about 22 km from there. Last year, there was no stock in the Shiroor dam. “Hence, water rationing has become a necessity,” he said.
To a query, Mr. Madhwaraj said that a third dam against the Swarna was planned to be constructed at Shimbra. But the hydrographical study conducted stated that this dam was not feasible. The Swarna Second Stage was built in the hope that it would take care of the city’s water needs till 2020. However, the water scarcity problem began in the city in 2013. “Had the elected representatives taken the step of getting water from the Varahi a decade ago, the water scarcity problem would not have arisen. Instead they backed the Swarna Second Stage,” he said.
Hence, a ₹270 crore project to bring water from the Varahi from Bharatkal village to Udupi city had been drawn up. “There is bound to be opposition to such a project. But we will explain the project and take everyone into confidence while implementing it,” he said.