The Bagalkot District is blessed with 3 rivers Viz., Krishna, Malaprabha, Ghataprabha besides the fertile plain land.   But due to lack of proper planning and utilization of natural water resources, it was deprived of water for irrigation and drinking purposes.  Harvesting depended entirely on whimsical and unpredictable monsoons, forcing the agriculturists to lead a precarious existence.  The Jamkhandi Taluk – once a princely state – and its neighbouring Athani taluka, were not an exception to it.


With the construction of the Koyna Hydro –Electric Project in 1960, the regular inflow of water in the down stream was affected to a greater extent.  With reduction of inflow, the water scarcity was felt not oly for the irrigation but also for drinking.


Off River Krishna in Jamkhandi Taluk and also part of Athani taluka, the water scarcity was felt for agriculture and drinking purposes.  Bare footed women folk walking miles together under the scorching sun for fetching pot full of water was a common scene in the area.  The poverty and misery of the people were compounded by perennial drought.  Migration of land less labours, small and marginal farmers to neighbouring district and states for livelihood was a common sight.  Worst affected were children as they were deprived of education.  In general,  the very dignity of himan life was at stake for want of basic needs.


To put an end to the long standing grievances the people of this area, the farmers made several representations to the Govt. of Karnataka to take up the construction of the barrage across river KRISHNA in the chikkapadasalagi village of Jamkhandi taluk since 1965.  This would have catered to needs of irrigation to of as estimated 226,000 acres of land decided providing drinking water facility to the Jamkhandi town and 21 villages and also 6 villages of Athani taluk of Belgaum District.


The Govt. prepared the estimates for the construction of barrages at the cost of 85 lakhs in 1976.  But the project was not taken up due to negative report of the technical committee setup for this purpose.  However, in 1986 again the government revised its estimaion to the tune of Rs. 1.8 crores.  But the project was not implemented on several grounds.




The please for an irrigation project in the area failed to move the authorities, and in the end, fed up of looking upto the Govt. for help, the people in the area who had struggled for 17 long years organized the farmers to form a collective effort for SELF-HELP.  At this stage, Shri Siddu Nyamagouda, a farmer-leader, made a first move by calling a meeting on farmers at ALGUR village to decided  the future course of action.


Shri Siddu Nyamagouda conceived the idea of constructing the barrage on their own by mobilizing MANPOWER, MONEY and MATERIALS.  The farmers responded to the call spontaneously and decided to help themselves in what is considered to the be first-ever of its kind in the country.  This led to the formation of a cooperative movement for Self-help under the name of KRISHNA TEERA RAITHA SANGHA ( KRISHNA BASIN  FARMER’S ASSOCIATION).


The KTRS sought the Govt. the administrative approval for the construction of the barrage on its own with the project report and estimates prepare by  Mr. Aminibhavi, Retd, Chief Engineer (Irrigation) Govt. of Karnataka.  After a year long initiation with the Govt. KTRS got the approval and the man whoi nudged the Govt. in giving the green signal was unassuming farmer leader Sri Siddu Nyamagouda.  However, the conditions laid down by the Govt. were no conducive but the Sangha accepted, as it had no other alternative leftover.



The farmers with a festive look performed Bhoomi Pooja on October 2nd i.e. on Gandhi Jayanthi day.  What a befitting tribute the the Father of the National.


Construction of the barrage was taken up in two phases.  In the first phase construction was taken up from January to June 1988, and in the second phase from January to July 1989.




The mobilization o the funds is a sunshine story of TRUST, CONFIDENCE AND ENTHUSIASM of the farmers in particular and the people of the area in general, the contribute for the cause of humanit.  This is a story when enterprise and privatization were not still buzzwords.


The major highlight of this project is its daring “PEOPLE’s PROJECT” estimated to cost Rs. 1Cr.  The farmers under the leadership of Shri S.B. Nyamagouda, were confident of mobilizing the money as scheduled.  It was decided to collect from beneficiaries at the rate of Rs. 5.00 per Horse Power irrigation pump set used.


During the II phase of the construction due to price escalation, the cost of the project was raised.  The complete the construction of the project as scheduled Shri S.B. Nyamagouda gave a call to the general public to contribute to this cause of humanity.  This appeal was followed by the door-to door and village – to –village campaign to meet the villagers to renovate the confidence and to raise the required funds.




The notable feature of this project is that the labour cost of the project was absolutely nil.  Shri S B Nyamagouda convinced the people that if one has the capability, he can convert his capability into an advantage.  The opportunity of the performance, challenge, creativity, growth and crisis ultimately results in exploring the potential towards performance.  These call created waves of awareness and motivation among individuals, groups, Associations, Communities  and Institutions.


At the commencement of the construction both beneficiaries and others came forward to render voluntary services to this great cause. The participation of one individual, group, Asociation, community and instituion inspired the other to come forward to offer voluntary labour. With active and voluntary cooperation from the people at large the construction of the barrage was completed.




·        First Private Barrage in the History of the Nation without Government Help

·        The farmers conceived the idea, planned the project, executed with the monilisation of men material and money on their own.

·        Transformed the entire region from poverty to prosperity.

·        Set an example of Self Help to others





Name of the Barrage

Chikkapadasalagi Barrage 

(Shrama Bindu Sagar)






Chikkapadasalagi Village, Jamkhandi Tq. Bagalkot (dist).  



Length of the Barrage

430 Meters



8 Meters


Width of the Reservior

0.45 Km


Storage Capacity

2.8 TMC


Length of Reservoir

45 KMs


Project Cost

Rs. One Crore


Period of Construction

11 Months




Before Construction

After Construction


Irrigation Facilities

8000-10000 acres (8 months)

35000 acres (12 months)


Land Cost per Acre

Rs. 25000-30000

Rs. 1,25,000 – 1,50,000


Sugar Cane Yield per Acre

20-25 tons

40-45 tons


Sugar Cane Output

1,75,000 tons

11,25,000 tons


Food Grain

4,000 tons

1,20,000-1,50,000 MT


Average Cost

Rs,8,20,000 Crores

Rs. 91,20,000 Crores


Employment Generation

50,000 man days

2,25,000 man days


Wage Rate

Rs.15/- to 18/ day

Rs.50/- to 60/- day


Drinking Water


Jamkhandi Town, 21 villages in Jamkhandi Town, 7 villages in Athani Taluk, Totaling 3 lakh population