On June 15, 2012 members of the Belgaum Citizen’s Forum had resented a memorandum to the Adl DC Chougala then demanding that the silt in the Rakaskop reservoir be removed so that more water could be stored.
Again on Monday, president of the Belgaum Citizen’s Forum Anil R. Deshpande and members alerted the Deputy Commissioner and Belgaum City Corporation to the possibility of drinking water shortage during summer and urged him to advise the department concerned to remove silt from the Rakaskop reservoir, which is the main source of drinking water to the city.
The forum has been demanding this removal of silt for many years but no one is giving a ear to their demand. Sources said that if the silt which is about 15 feet is removed more water could be stored and the acute water deficiency that occurs in the Summer could be avoided.
Members of the forum also said that the height of the reservoir must be increased by 10 feet keeping in mind the growth in population in the coming years.
Rakaskop reservoir became operational in 1965 and the silt has been never removed yet.
Rakaskop is 16 Kms from Belgaum literally means a hamlet of a Rakkasa (Giant), who is stated to have lived on a hillrock near the village. A cavern in laterite on the hillrock resembling a huge seated human figure is shown by the people to remind his past existence. Here is a Dam across the river Markandeya, supplying drinking water to Belgaum. Dr. M. Vishveshwarayya who designed the Rakaskop Scheme had mentioned in the Preamble to his Report that Belgaum water supply can be maintained by a chain of wells.
We have access to water only 4 months of the year. Yes, since the supply is once in three days. This has been the case for the past many years. Every year, there is talk of desilting Rakaskop reservoir, but to no avail. The reservoir fills up within days and empties equally fast since it has become extremely shallow. Why cant the desilting be taken up in high summer while the city can be fed through the Hidkal waters?