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Locals fear damage to farms, houses as Arla-Karmale lake overflows



With the meteorological department issuing an orange alert in the state, locals from Arla-Karmale area of Querim village fear that a flood-like situation could occur as the recently developed Arla lake has started overflowing.

“If the bandhara of the lake breaks open in heavy rains, houses will get severely affected,” stated a local. Fearing it, villagers are demanding urgent precautionary measures from the concerned authorities.

Arla lake is one of the biggest water conservatories in Querim village, spread over around 3,000 square metres of area, storing lakhs of cubic metres of water on the plateau area of hill. It has been the only major water resource for agricultural farms located in Arla and Karmale area for decades and provides water to the farms until the month of May. Every year on the occasion of Vijayadasami, the bandhara of the lake is constructed to store water and with onset of monsoon, the gates of the bandhara are opened.

But for the very first time, the lake has started overflowing with heavy rains in the last few days and overflowing water has already damaged some agricultural farms.  If it starts raining heavily again for a week as forecast by the weather department, villagers fear that the bandhara of the lake could break open and houses situated on the bank of the rivulet of the lake will get flooded.

As per information, there are around 20 houses on the bank of the rivulet down the hill, which will face direct brunt of the breakage of the bandhara. Along with it, hundreds of acres of the areca nut farms in the village will be damaged.  Secondly there won’t be any water for the farmers dependent on the lake for the upcoming season and all the farms across the village will be affected. There are around 300 farmers directly dependent on the lake, informed the locals.

Similarly, occupants of houses situated on the bank of the lake are also scared over the lake’s water level.

“I am 70 years old and I never witnessed such overflowing of Arla lake in my lifetime. It is for the very first time that part of my farm has been damaged with the overflowing water. If the bandhara breaks open, the entire farm will be submerged under water and houses will get damaged,” said Suresh Narvekar, a resident of Arla, while speaking to this

Another local Shashikant Murdikar blamed the panchayat over the situation stating that they failed to take up de-silting work of the lake.

Locals had been demanding de-silting of the lake for the past many years but nothing happened in that regard, he said. 

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