Widening of Kapleshwari nullah to stop flooding of Ponda fields


 In an effort to prevent the discharge of flood water during monsoon into the fields and the low-lying areas along Ponda’s only perennial nullah, the department of water resources is undertaking the mammoth task of increasing the width of the Kapleshwari nullah from its existing 6-8 metres to 14 metres at an estimated cost of Rs 34 crore. The entire project is expected to be completed by 2016.
Highly placed sources in the water resources department, requesting anonymity, said that the nullah, which carries the entire precipitation from the total catchment area of around 33 km, does not have sufficient width to carry the monsoon water to the river Zuari, resulting in flooding of the low-lying areas along the nullah and also submerging the fields.
The water resource department official said that the nullah is quite narrow in width at some places, even reducing to two metres at certain areas, which results in the breaching of its banks and water flowing into the fields. He said that the department is currently broadening the width of the nullah to about 14 metres and building the banks along the nullah’s seven-kilometre route.
He said that the work is being carried out in a phased manner and presently a job amounting to Rs 7 crore has been tendered even as the government is in the process of acquiring land for widening of the nullah. The official also said that the department has deposited Rs 1.52 crore towards land acquisition for the widening of the nullah. The official said that Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act has been published and Section 6 will be followed after a re-survey by the survey department and the report will be sent to the land acquisition officer. He said that in the meantime, the department has sent a proposal to carry out widening of the nullah up to Kavle for the sanction of expenditure, and the work is expected to begin sometime next month.
The nullah provides irrigation to about 50 hectares of low-lying fields in Ponda taluka with the help of nine bandharas. The work on widening of the nullah was first initiated way back in 1993 and the upstream regions were widened to 14 metres, while the lower areas have a very less width of just about 8 metres, which results in chocking of the flow of water, especially during the monsoon.
Presently, the water resources department is also preparing an estimate for completion of the remaining portion of the nullah up to Bandora, which is expected to cost around Rs 20 crore. The source said that the department will also construct three bhandaras using fibre glass lids at a cost of around Rs 60 lakh, with one kaccha bandhara at Kapleshwari, while a 3-metre deep bhandara will be constructed at Velop and another one of about one kilometre, downstream from this spot. The source also said that the existing bandharas at Ramnathi will also be maintained. [NT]