Karnataka government plans to desilt the state’s 36,500 water bodies as part of the Kere Sanjeevani programme. The state will try to revive and desilt water bodies below 20 acres before June 15, when the monsoon is expected to set in. The government plans to take up desilting work in two tanks in every small taluk (with less than 30 gram panchayats) and three in every large taluk (with over 30 GPs). This apart, 320 temple tanks and 600 kalyanis and ponds will also be taken up for desilting in 137 drought-hit taluks.
Of the 36,500 water bodies in the state, the government has identified around 22,000 minor irrigation tanks in the 137 drought-hit taluks for desilting. With 98% of the water bodies dried and heavily silted, most multi-village and piped water supply schemes have been of little help. According to some estimates, around 30 tmcft of water has been lost due lack of rain, evaporation and heavy silting.
Two earth excavators (JCBs) will be assigned for each tank, supported by 810 dumpers or similar earth-moving vehicles. The government intends to excavate and transport the silt to agriculture fields or some other suitable dumping ground till it starts raining.
It looks like the government is all set to welcome the rains in the state and has taken advanced measures to deal with the upcoming monsoons.