Tarikere Town Municipal Council in Chikkamagaluru district greeted the residents of the town on the dawn of new year last week by opening the cleaned up Chikkere in the town. The urban local body, with the help of many voluntary organisations, removed weed and cleared the dirt around the tank.
The work was part of the TMC staff members’ programme – Pursabhe Chitta Swachchateyatta – which began three months ago. Under this programme, the staff cleaned the residential localities on every first and third Saturday in a month. From Chief Officer to the municipal worker, all staff of the council would work on the day, irrespective of their official responsibilities.
“Our work received a good response from the public. Gradually, several organisations joined us and we took up cleaning Chikkere, a herculean task given the weeds, construction waste, and garbage dumped around the tank”, said H. Mahanthesh, Chief Officer of the TMC.
The tank, spread over 10 acres of land, was once providing drinking water for residents of the town, whose population stands roughly at 40,000. Over the years the tank was neglected and it became a dumping yard, as the people started to get drinking water from Bhadra reservoir.
The work began on December 19 with the support of D.S. Suresh, MLA, council’s administrator A.C. Renuka Prasad and volunteers from many non-governmental organisations including Viveka Jagruta Balaga, Rotary, Kannada Sahitya Parishat’s taluk unit, and Arivu, forum of ex-servicemen. As much as 150 tractor loads of weed and municipal waste were removed from the tank area.
“Without spending a rupee from the council, we cleaned the tank by December 31. The next day, on the occasion of the new year, we held a programme at the tank to honour those who worked to clean it”, Mahanthesh said.
The TMC has now taken up work to fence the tank at a cost of ₹2 lakh.