Mangalore: Efforts on to draw water from Lakhya dam

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Mangaluru, Nov 7: The Mangalore City Corporation is exploring the possibilities of supplying drinking water to the city from Lakhya dam built by Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited (KIOCL) at Kudremukh.

A team of councillors and officials of the corporation led by Mayor Ganesh Hosabettu visited the dam on Tuesday, Nov 4 in this regard, according to sources in the corporation. The visit follows a meeting J. Krishna Palemar, Minister for Ports, Inland Water Transport, Environment and Ecology, had in Bangalore on October 23 to discuss this issue. The meeting was attended by KIOCL and MCC officials, according to sources. Commissioner of the corporation Sameer Shukla is understood to have written a letter to the managing director of KIOCL on this proposal.

The team that visited KIOCL comprised chairman of standing committee for town planning and improvement K. Naveenchandra, chairman of standing committee for taxation, finance and appeals Ranganatha C Kini, and chairman of standing committee for public health, education and social justice Premananda Shetty and a few engineers, besides the Mayor.

Sources said that the corporation was spending about Rs. 1.25 crore a month to manage its water supply. It includes electricity charges and salary of employees. The corporation is pumping 18 million gallon litres (MGD) of water a day from the Thumbay vented dam.

In addition, Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC) is laying an additional pipeline to supply another 18 MGD of water from Thumbay to the city.

If the corporation was to get water from Lakhya dam, it has to particularly study the quantity of water it can get from the Lakhya dam between October and May when the demand for water will be high.

The corporation needs to study the aspect of electricity charges it may have to pay to KIOCL as sources said that the company might be demanding the corporation to bear the electricity charges. A water-sharing formula should be worked out by the KIOCL and MCC.

The company has stopped mining operations at Kudremukh even as there were some environment issues to be addressed by the KIOCL to draw water from the dam. In case the height of the dam needed to be increased, it becomes necessary to obtain permission from the Supreme Court, sources said.

“Nothing has been finalised. We have visited the spot and collected some primary data," a member of the team that visited the dam said.

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