Almatti dam, one of the largest reservoirs in Karnataka, was chosen for the World Bank’s Award of Excellence for best utilisation of funds for renovation to enhance the strength of the dam. The World Bank had granted Rs.72 crore to the Krishna Bhagya Jal Nigam Limited to prevent seepage which could damage the dam.
According to the officials of Nigam, the project was taken up under the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) for strengthening the reservoir which is over five decades old. While similar work was carried out in more than 250 dams across 10 States, Almatti was chosen for the award, officials said.
The foundation stone of 123 tmc capacity dam was laid in 1964. However, the project was completed in 2000 and water storage began in 2002. “Since then, renovation was never carried out. This is the first renovation work for the dam and it was taken up under the DRIP scheme by the Union government.
With funds released in February, the renovation work began in March and was completed in June when the water level in the dam was low.
Three different tenders were allotted to agencies which used high-end equipment from Japan and Germany, the officials said. After completion, the officials of World Bank visited the site to assess whether the prescribed norms had been followed.