Monday, June 27, 2016

MNREGA work helps fill Mailar (Khanapur) temple pond

Source The Hindu :

The pond at the Mailar Mallanna temple in Khanapur of Bhalki taluk has been revived after it was cleaned under MNREGA.— Photo: Gopichand T.
Work under the MNREGA has helped rejuvenate the kalyani in Mailar Mallanna temple in Khanapur in Bhalki taluk.

The huge pond behind the temple complex had dried up for several years and tourists had turned into a garbage dump yard. The work by villagers from Khanapur, Malchapur and Khanapur tanda, has resulted in the kalyani holding a large amount of water now.

When the Bidar Zilla Panchayat decided to clean and dredge kalyanis under MNREGA, ponds in the Mallanna temple were the first to be taken up.

Over 300 labourers were involved in cleaning three ponds in the temple premises, for around 60 days. This was among the drought relief works taken up by the district administration that Chief Minister Siddharamaiah visited in May.

“We engaged every available labourer,” says Godavari Biradar, panchayat development officer. “Usually, labourers from the three villages under Malchapur Gram panchayat go to Hyderabad and Solapur to work in the construction industry. This year, they could not go to Maharashtra due to the drought. We were happy because we could create enough jobs for them locally.”

“Such work will continue,” assures Pavan Kumar Malpati, zilla panchayat chief executive officer. “This is just the beginning. We have over 400 kalyanis in the district, most of them in rural areas. We will take up their cleaning in phases, he said. Watershed developments works should be taken up on priority as per MNREGA guidelines. Such works help push up the water table, improve yields, sustain cattle and ensure prosperity of the village, apart from helping check distress migration.”

Farmers in Khanapur say their village is the Prempur mentioned in the Puranas. They believe the story to be true and express concern that only a few of these ponds remain now. Some have been encroached and others have been filled with mud to cultivate crops, they say. After a survey of the area last month, the department of tourism and Team YUVA NGO counted 68 ponds.

Source :

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be invited to inaugurate the Bidar-Kalaburgi railway

Sourec : The Hindu ..

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be invited to inaugurate the Bidar-Kalaburgi railway line in April 2017, MP Bhagwant Khuba, said on Thursday.

The line that has been pending from 1999, will be completed by April. Officials have confirmed that works are nearing completion and the pending works are on schedule, he told presspersons after inspecting works along the railway from Khanapur to Maragutti.

Mr Khuba said efforts of leaders like former Chief Minister B. S Yeddyurappa released half the cost of the project as the state’s share. Union railway minister of state Basanagouda Patil Yatnal also ensured it was taken up on priority, he claimed.

T.P. Narayan Rao, chief engineer of the south central railway, said the project with an estimated cost of Rs 1,500 crore was almost complete. All works will be completed by December, trial runs will be done in January. The line could be completely operational by April, the officer said.

Laying of 104 km of the 110.4 km was over. The 1.67 kilometre long tunnel work in Maragutti in Kalaburgi district is in progress with tunneling of 1.47 km completed. Work on around 200 m will be completed soon, he said.

The line has 14 major bridges, 183 minor bridges, 13 over-bridges and 53 underbridges along the way. There are 13 stations along the route. Tunnel workers are being supplied with all safety equipment including oxygen supply pipelines, officers informed.



Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Bidar administration aiming to plant one crore saplings in a day

Source: the Hindu ..

Bidar district administration is aiming to create a Guinness record by planting the highest number of trees in a day, Deputy Commissioner Anurag Tewari said here on Monday.

“The record is around 20 lakh trees planted in a day. We are trying to break the record by planting one crore saplings in a day,” Mr. Tewari said at the World Environment Day celebrations in Gnyana Sudha Vidyalaya.

He asked students to realise that planting saplings and caring for them were methods of nation building.

Trees help bring rain, retain moisture and improve the quality of top soil, fix nitrogen and support thousands of life forms. Trees do not talk, but they quickly establish an emotional bond with you, he told the children.

He spoke about how the Union and State governments were promoting tourism through various schemes and programmes. He planted a sapling on the school premises at Mamankeri and distributed saplings to children.

Poornima G., president of the school committee, said that the school would nurture roadside saplings planted from Mamankeri Cross to the school premises.

Mouneshwar Lakha, school committee director, said that the district administration was trying to clean and dredge the Surang Bavi / Karez [underground aqueduct] in Bidar to promote it as a tourist destination.

Chandrashekar Patil, school committee member, was present.

The record is around 20 lakh trees and

we are trying to break it, says Deputy Commissioner

Source :

Heavy rain brings cheer to farmers in Bidar district.

Source : The Hindu

Heavy rain on Saturday and Sunday night has brought cheer to farmers in Bidar district.

Farmers, who waited for rain in the last six faming seasons, suffered crop losses and strived to rear cattle with scarce water and green grass, were relieved when most parts of the district received heavy rain for more than three hours on Saturday and Sunday night.

As much as 8.6 mm rainfall was received on June 4 and 11.8 mm on June 5.

A boon

Meanwhile, scientists say that it is a boon for farmers. “It will help them in preparing land,” Ravi Deshmukh, farm scientist from Krishi Vigyan Kendra, has said.

“It will reduce soil temperature and soften the soil that will help farmers take up ploughing, bunding and carving out channels,” he said.

Farmers are likely to choose soya, green gram, black gram, jowar and red gram this season.

Due to the trend in soya prices remaining high in some seasons, area under this crop is likely to increase, he said.

Officers elated

And, officers are elated. The spell of rain has addressed several issues, said K. Zia Ulla, Joint Director of Agriculture.

First, it has helped animals, by filling surface water bodies such as tanks and lakes. And, second, it has rejuvenated springs in the open wells.

With one or two more spells of rain, open wells in the district will begin yielding harvestable amounts of water, he said.

This rain is a morale booster for farmers who will now plan and prepare for cultivation, he said.

Seeds, fertilizer

The department is making arrangements for distribution of seeds and fertilizer to farmers through the Raitha Samparka Kendras and other outlets, he said.

He said that the district is likely to get between 100 per cent and 120 per cent rainfall this monsoon.

Bidar district receives an annual aggregated rainfall of 885 mm.

Of the 9.1 lakh acres of cultivable land in the district, around 7.5 lakh acres will be taken up for sowing during the kharif.


Foodgrains will be sown in nearly 80 per cent of the area. Sugarcane and other commercial crops will be taken in around 10 per cent of the area.

Horticulture and plantation crops will cover the rest of the area.

Source :

Friday, June 3, 2016

Bidar's drought-proof action: a model for others to follow:

Source : Dec can Herald.

With desilting work to continue till arrival of monsoon next week, the district administration plans to add another 10 tmc (thousand million cubic) storage space in tanks and wells, taking the total extra storage capacity to 20 tmc.

The good work being done in the district prompted the state government to announce last month a 'Kere Sanjivini' scheme to clean/dredge tanks and wells in all drought-hit districts in the state but funds have not yet reached them.

The 'Bidar model' is unique in the sense that the district administration started work in March itself and spent about Rs 2.5 crore to remove 26 lakh cubic meter of silt, which otherwise would have cost not less than Rs 100 crore.

"I have seen one of the worst drought here. We took several steps to address water crisis. We initiated timely desilting work in many water bodies. All these efforts will go a long way in drought-proofing the district, which is the only sustainable way," Deputy Commissioner Anurag Tewari told PTI.

Stating that the public participation helped the district administration reduce the cost of desilting work in a big way, he said farmers volunteered when "we asked them to take the unearthed nutrient-rich soil for free to their farm fields."

The government rate for desilting one cubic meter of soil was Rs 60, while the district administration spent less than Rs 11 especially to cover expenses of excavator, diesel and driver, said District Tank Desilting panel head Balhim Kamle.

So far, the district has completed desilting in 200 open wells out of 1,000; 100 tanks out of 120 in five taluks, 20 temple tanks out of 400 and the work is being carried to add another 10 tmc extra storage before arrival of monsoon rains, he said.

The water from these desilted open wells has been tested and being supplied through tankers for drinking water purpose.

Major intervention in water conservation was that the district initiated for the fist time in last many years the desilting of ancient underground water tunnels called 'Karez’ system that originated in Iran, Tewari said.

The Bidar Karez, built in the 15th century, is more than 3 km long with 21 air vents. There are 12 water network lines in the district and desilting of each line is estimated to cost Rs 2 crore. Desilting work has begun in one line already.

"This is the biggest intervention undertaken to restore ancient water bodies. The lines are more hazardous and might take more time to clear them. The state government has given Rs 8 crore for this purpose," the Deputy Commissioner said.

All these efforts coupled with reforestation program of planting one crore trees in the district and promotion of rainwater and micro irrigation, "should help us save from drought in the next ten years", Tewari said.

The district reported about 125 farmer suicide cases in the last two drought years that affected agriculture sector, livelihood of farmers and created drinking water crisis. During the field visit to a desilted Deshmukh tank spread over 15 acres in Aurad taluk, 40-year old Shanur Bhegum who was fetching water from the tank said: "This tank had remained dry for last 30-35 years.

"The rejuvenation of this tank has helped us a lot as we are able carry water for cleaning and other purpose. We are using water supplied through tankers for drinking," she said.

The district officials said that about Rs 1.5 lakh was spent for desilting up to 12 feet of the Deshmukh tank and to create additional water storage of 6 crore litre.

"The work was completed in a fortnight. There will not be water problem in Aurad taluk in next 5-7 years even if there is drought," Tank Desilting Committee head Kamle said.

Initially, two excavators were involved in the work but farmers started volunteering when they were asked to carry unearthed soil from the tank for free. The desilted soil is fertile for farming purpose and rare to find, he said.

Unlike neighbouring states Maharashtra and Telangana, the district administration did not focus on digging new open wells, instead it rejuvenated historical wells which were constructed way back in 12th century.

In Basavakalyana taluk, which is 80 km away from Bidar, all 12 historical wells have been cleaned and in some wells soil has been desilted up to a depth of 40 feet.

The taluk faced severe drinking water crisis in March due to drying up of 'Chulkinaala tank' for the first time this year due to drought. But the district administration desilted 2 lakh cubic meters of water here and this will recharge open wells, borewells and groundwater in this taluk.

Having realised the benefits of desilted soil, 50-year old farmer Gundappa is one among many farmers in the district who spent money on his own for transportation of the black soil to his fields.

"I have 5 acres of land. I have topped black soil in 1.5 acres and preparing the field for sowing kharif crops, specially tur, jowar and soyabean. The soil is so rich in nutrients that I need not spend much on fertilisers," he said.

Gundappa hopes to reap good harvest this time on forecast of better rains after repeated crop failure due to drought.

Black-topped fields are making an appearance in most parts of the district as farmers have already spread desilted soil in over 50,000 acres out of total farm land of 9.14 lakh acres in the district.

Drought-hit farmers are now pinning hopes on black rich soil and good monsoon to reap record harvest this year even as the government has announced a substantial hike in the minimum support price of kharif crops.

The water conservation work will not stop with the arrival of monsoon rains, said the Deputy Commissioner who plans to promote next rain water harvesting and boost tourism sector to give alternative jobs to drought-hit farmers for which a Rs 274 crore proposal has been submitted to the Centre.

Source ;