From The Hindu:
Over 1500 labourers from around 10 villages got down in the dry bed of the Hiranyakeshi to remove silt, clean it and prepare it for the rain. The task undertaken was to remove the silt from 2.5 kilometres of the river bed, but this maticulous planning was done with use of modern technology including superimposing satellite imagery over revenue maps, and setting up global positioning system stations along the work site route. Data was sourced from the Karnataka State Remote Sensing and Application Centre and Karnataka Space Applications Centre. The river bed was mapped with cartography data obtained from wheel rolls and tripod traps.
R. Ramachandran, Zilla panchayat chief executive officer led the team which had marked out work sites, shapes and contours of the valley and the estimated water yield.
“The river flows for around 22 kilometres in Belagavi taluk and we are working on just 10% of the river bed in the first phase. We hope to remove around 82,500 cubic metres of soil, in as many person days. The labourers will be paid revised wages of Rs. 249 per day, with a 10% travel allowance to those who come from far-off villages. A total of Rs. 2.1 crore will be spent on the project. MNREGA rules state that the scheme should provide jobs and create public assets. Hence the Hiranyakeshi rejuvenation project,” he said.
He said that the project was inspired by the rejuvenation of the Markandeya two years ago, by the former CEO Bagadi Goutam.
He used MNREGA funds to rejuvenate 14.5 km of the river. Around 600 trees were planted along the riverbank. This led to the river flowing to the brim in the last two monsoons.
“We are also planting another 400 saplings along the Markandeya bank,” said Mr. Ramachandran.
The Belagavi ZP already stands at the top of the charts as the district with the maximum number of person days created. Of the 12.29 lakh person days created in the state, 4.66 lakh were from Belagavi district in this financial year.