Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Residents complain of water crisis in Bidar

Most households depend on tankers for water

Most parts of Bidar’s old city are suffering from severe water scarcity. Residents of areas like Noor Khan Taleem complain that they get tap water only once in three weeks. Most households depend on tankers for drinking water.

Low rainfall in the last two seasons seems to have dried up open wells. Manjra river that supplied water to the city since 1980 has dried up. Water level in the Karanja reservoir, from where water is pumped to the city, has fallen drastically.

Houses, offices, shops and other institutions are all having a hard time. The mosque in Patal Nagari has put up a board asking believers to perform wazoo (washing hands and feet before prayers) at home. Long queues of women and children are seen before mini water supply tanks. Quarrels for water are a common sight.

“Only children in my family are getting a bath everyday. Others keep skipping baths for days,” Waifa Ashraf, a resident of Gole Khana, said. Ayesha Begum, of Quadriapura, has paid Rs. 800 for a tanker of drinking water. “If you bargain with him, he won’t come here next time,” she said.

Water supply
The demand and supply mismatch has turned some young men into entrepreneurs. Wasif Ahmed, who dropped out of a diploma course, has bought a luggage auto and fitted it with a water tanker. He gets Rs. 400 to supply 2,000 litres of water.

Residents complain that indiscriminate digging of borewells has added to their problems. Murjtaba Hussein, who lives near Pansal Taleem, complains that his well dried up after the City Municipal Council dug two borewells within 10 metres of his well. “There are 440 borewells in Bidar, servicing a population of around 3 lakh. This is not sustainable,” Shashikant Malli, District Urban Development Cell engineer said.

No one is following the government’s regulation that there should be a gap of at least 100 metres between two bore wells. Legislators, CMC members and some resident associations pressurise officials into digging borewells, he said.

He also points out that residents have no awareness about sustainable methods like rain water harvesting to recharge open wells. Stake holders seem to be playing the blame game. People blame the CMC. CMC members blame the district administration and the district administration is blaming the rain gods.

“The groundwater here is naturally brackish. There is no source of sweet water anywhere here. What can I do? I cannot create water in my backyard,” Abdul Sawood, CMC member, said. District officials said water impounded in Karanja reservoir was around 1.5 tmcft. Early rains will solve a lot of problems, a senior officer said.

Manjra river, open wells have dried up

Water level in Karanja reservoir has fallen drastically

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Saturday, May 9, 2015

New multiplex for Bidar

Bidar is getting its own multiplex cinema.

The town with four cinema theatres will add four more screens with the inauguration of Sapna Multiplex on BVB college road on Friday.

The four screens can beam eight films in a day, said a release by Chandrashekar Patil, Managing director.

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Chance find turns out to be fake

Coins found at the kalyani of Paapansh Temple in Bidar.– Photo: By Arrangement

Old copper coins found in a kalyani in Bidar throws light on an ancient art of conning people

How old do you think is the trade of conning people by making fake coins? If some coins found in Bidar are any indication, it is at least 134 years old.

A few months ago, labourers digging a kalyani (temple pond) near Paapnaash temple found scores of copper coins dating back to the 1880s. Or so they thought. Delighted at finding a treasure, they ran away, taking a handful of coins. Only some pieces left at the bottom of the pond were noticed by temple committee members.

Some of the coins had the writing ‘VITCTORIA COE, 1881’. The name of the country was spelt ‘INDA’ with the ‘I’ conspicuous by its absence. On the obverse side, they had inscriptions in Persian. Some others had the writing ‘VIKTORIA. DG. BRITANIA’. On the obverse side, was a hand-drawn design.

No one could confirm the authenticity of these coins and this reporter had to send their images to the Directorate of Epigraphy, Persian and Arabic inscriptions, Archaeological Survey of India, Nagpur. The reply was interesting. “They are fakes made from sand moulds,” wrote Ghulamussyedain Khwaja, director of the department.

He further explained, “By 1881, Victorian coins were made by machine-die minting at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. But these seem to be made in sand moulds. The obverse side has a crude copy of the legends of coin of later Mughal king Shah Alam II. This is again incorrect,” Dr. Khwaja said. The name Victoria without the title of queen and the spelling for India are other blatant inaccuracies. Dr. Khwaja clarified that their antiquity could be assessed only after physical examination.

The labourers may have sold the coins to some collectors or kept them safely at home, for a rainy day. Either way they are bound to be disappointed, S.G. Patil, temple committee member, said.

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source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/chance-find-turns-out-to-be-fake/article7182762.ece

Farmers suffering crop-loss will be compensated: CM

Farmers who have suffered crop loss due to untimely rains will be compensated, Chief Minister Siddharamaiah said in Bidar on Wednesday.

He spoke to reporters at the Air Force station, Bidar. He was here on the way to a marriage ceremony in the family of Rajshekar Patil, Humnabad MLA.

We will seek reports from officials about the losses suffered by heavy rains, hail storms and lightening. All the loss will be compensated, he said.

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Govt to support animal rearing farmers: Official

The State government is bringing in important policy changes to help animal rearing farmers, Harsha Gupta, secretary, Animal husbandry, said in Bidar on Wednesday.

Christened ‘Pashu Bhagya’, it includes financial support to buy cattle, fish or birds, life insurance for the animals and compensation on the death of these animals.

The benefit of zero percent interest loans would be extended to animal and bird-rearers. This facility was given only to crop loans till now.

The extension of the facility is expected to hike animal and bird produce, he said.

For example, sheep-rearers will be given zero interest loans of Rs 50,000. We have calculated that with this kind of support, a landless farmer can raise 12 sheep in a year and make a decent profit. This will also help them repay the loan in time, he said. Farmers can keep bulls, chickens, backyard fish ponds or other animals or birds, using this facility, he said. Two -three schemes are being merged to create this scheme. It would be operational in one or two months. It would be a demand generated scheme and there would be no limit on the number of beneficiaries, the secretary said.

Another major change would be tweaking the breeding policy to ensure that native breeds are promoted.

The breeding policy is considered the mother document of the department. Changes made to it will reflect in the way it functions, Mr Gupta said. The changes include supporting farmers who keep cows and buffaloes of native breeds, forming clusters of farmers who keep such cattle and asking scientists to improve native breeds. A focused attempt would be made to create a brand for milk of native cows and buffaloes and market it as an exclusive product.

The central scheme of Gokul Gram will be implemented to develop native breeds by strain selection method. Universities or private agencies that agree to breed and protect native varieties will be supported.

Farmers’ clusters can get low interest loans too. Two breeds - Deoni in Hyderabad Karnataka and Malenadu Gidda in Malnad area will be protected through the Gokul Gram scheme.

Fish clusters will be promoted by setting up fish seed farms, subsidies to fish-rearers, and encouraging formation of farmers’ clusters to scale up the industry and make it viable. The Matsya Darshini vending outlet in Bengaluru will be extended to district head quarters. Through franchise model, raw fish and cooked fish will be sold in outlets. A mobile vending outlet will go around villages or various areas in the cities to sell fish, the commissioner said.

Later, he held a meeting with sheep rearing farmers in the Deputy Commissioner’s office. Pandit Chidri, Karnataka state sheep and wool development corporation chairman and others were present

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They waited for decades without a drop

Parts of Kalaburagi and Bidar districts are perennially drought-prone. Yet, irrigation projects in the Krishna and Godavari basins that could have made a big difference to the region have been languishing for over four decades, without being completed.

The major and medium-irrigation projects, taken up originally as drought-relief works in 1972 and later converted into irrigation projects, are yet to be completed even after 43 years.

The delay has resulted in cost escalation and waste of public money.

Significant projects among them are the Bennethora Major Irrigation Project, Amarja and Lower Mullamari Medium Irrigation projects in Kalaburagi district and Karanja Major Irrigation Project in Bidar. In 1972, the estimated cost of all of them was less than Rs. 10 crore.

Now, the estimated cost of each range from Rs. 230 crore to Rs. 650 crore. Bhima Lift Irrigation Project, started in 1992-93, is also incomplete. For instance, the revised cost of the Bennethora project when it got administrative and technical approval in 1991-92 was Rs. 73.23 crore; today it has gone up to nearly Rs. 600 crore.

Ironically, the project was “inaugurated” by the then Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy even before the canals and distributaries were in place in July 2006.

For Karanja, whose revised cost was Rs. 98 crore when given technical approval, has gone up to nearly Rs. 650 crore. For the Lower Mullamari and Amarja medium irrigation projects, whose revised cost of Rs. 51.5 crore and Rs 57.8 crore, respectively, in 1991, it is now Rs. 230 crore and Rs. 278 crore.

The cost of the Bhima Lift Irrigation Project, designed to irrigate 24,300 hectares, was Rs. 107 crore in 1993-94. This has spiralled to more than Rs. 600 crore.

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‘Set up IT park in Bidar’

The Karnataka High Court has admitted a public interest litigation petition urging the State government to set up an Information Technology park in Bidar. It will be heard on June 3.

Gurunath Wadde, RTI activist from Aurad, has filed a petition seeking establishment of the IT park and other infrastructure facilities as recommended by the D. M Nanjundappa committee on redressal of regional imbalances.

In the petition, he said the State government should utilise the city’s proximity to Hyderabad, and groom it into an IT hub.

Bidar has four engineering colleges, a postgraduate centre of the Gulbarga University and multiple post graduate centres in colleges.

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