Residents of Shantinagar in Hassan, on Sunday, participated in a unique festival – Chikkatte Habba – to mark the rejuvenation of a tank spread over four acres in the locality.
Children painted, performed dance programmes and women took part in a rangoli competition.
The residents formed a committee – Chikkatte Kere Abhivruddhi Samiti – to develop the tank under the guidance of Hasirubhoomi Trust, a non-governmental organization that has been active in the district in terms of rejuvenating waterbodies. The committee raised funds from the local people and spent the same on developing the tank.
“The four-acre land used to a place to dump municipal waste for many years. People would hesitate to come near it. Thanks to the contribution of local people, it has now become a decent place,” said B.S. Desai, an artist, who attended the programme.
The local committee collected more than ₹9.5 lakh from residents, public, nature lovers among others in the city.
The Hassan Urban Development Authority contributed ₹1.8 lakh for the purpose. Hasirubhoomi Trust provided the local committee with the seed money of ₹25,000 for the tank development. The committee has spent nearly ₹13 lakh for the work.
“A major chunk of the contribution is from the local public. Our waterbodies can be retained for the future generations only if the people join hands for such activities,” said R.P. Venkateshamurthy, one of the founders of Hasirubhoomi Trust. The trust has taken up development of more than 30 waterbodies in the district.
“This is the third festival in the city. Similar events had been held on the banks of Hunasinakere and Satyamangala tanks. The programme is to encourage the participation of locals in conserving nature,” said Ahmed Hagare, a representative of the trust.
Hassan MLA Preetham Gowda, KAS officer H.L. Nagaraj, honorary president of the trust, Hassan City Municipal Council member Prashant Nagaraj participated in the programme.
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