The Department of Water Resources has initiated measures to acquire 75,000 acres of land in Bilgi taluk and part of Bagalkot taluk, which will get submerged when the height of the 26 crest gates of the Alamatti reservoir is raised in the coming months. Simultaneously, the government is identifying land for the rehabilitation and resettlement of the people who will lose their land due to the submergence, and colonies will be set up for them. This process was initiated following the Supreme Court judgment on the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal Award on Krishna waters.
The land is being acquired for the Upper Krishna Project (UKP) III and the department has started a land survey and outlining the land to be submerged showing the level of water to be stored in the area. Identification of land for rehabilitation and resettlement of the people, who would be affected by the submergence, and setting up colonies for them has been launched. All these processes would be over in about three years and the stage would be set for implementing the III stage.
Minister for Water Resources M.B. Patil has got approval from the Cabinet for deputing one senior official each from the Revenue and the Forest departments to his department for facilitating speedy land acquisition proceedings.
The proposals have been sent to the authorities concerned for issuing government orders. Under the arrangement, a joint secretary and a chief conservator of forests from the two departments respectively will attend to problems as and when they arise and solve them in consultation with the top brass. The department is also taking the services of a retired official in the Central Water Commission to be the liaison officer in the Union Water Resources Ministry.
Sources said many projects could not be completed leading to cost escalation due to years of delay in acquisition and court disputes.
Chief Engineer, UKP, C.S. Anantharamu, said steel plates to be welded to the 26 crest gates for raising the height to 524.245 metres were ready and it could be done within two months from the date of the Tribunal award, following which it has to be gazetted by the Centre.
He said 5.6 lakh hectares of land in Yadgir, Gulbarga, Raichur, Koppal, Bijapur and Bagaklot districts would get irrigation facilities after raising the crest gates.