Water worries weigh high

Water worries weigh high

Scorching days: Power, water shortages loom large this summer

Severe drought coupled with acute power shortage likely to badly affect drinking water supply in most parts of the State this summer.

Of the 175 taluks in the State, 123 have been facing severe drought and water is being supplied through tankers in around 200 villages in Kolar, Bijapur, Dharwad, Ramanagar and Belgaum districts. The scene in urban areas is no good. A large number of urban local bodies (city municipal councils, town municipal councils and town panchayats) in 13 districts are reeling under water scarcity on account of erratic power supply.

The problem is more pronounced in Bangalore Rural, Chitradurga, Davangere, Hassan, Tumkur, Mysore and Mandya districts, according to the statistics available with the Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA).

In Mysore district, for instance, Hunsur, KR Nagar, Bannur, T Narasipura and Saragur towns are facing drinking water supply problem due to erratic power supply. Similar is the condition in Pandavapura, Maddur, Malavalli and Nagamangala in Mandya district. All the urban local bodies in Davangere district are supplying water once in three days.

According to the DMA officials, as many as 80 ULBs, especially those in Bangalore Urban, Bangalore rural, Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Tumkur, Belgaum, Gadag, Haveri, Bagalkot and Bijapur would literally go dry during summer. Ground water, the only source of water for these local bodies, too has depleted to alarming levels. Borewell water in most places has become unfit for human consumption. The situation will only aggravate further as the mercury raises in the coming days.

Except for Bangalore and some other big cities, power supply has become highly unpredictable in the last few weeks. Consequently, the local bodies are unable to pump water and ensure supply to the residents. However, the State government claims to have been providing 24/7 power supply in urban areas and 18 hours (three phase for six hours and single phase for 12 hours) in rural areas, depending on the load.

Presently, the State’s demand for power is about 174 million units a day and the government is claiming that it is providing 172 mu. It is estimated that the demand would shoot up to 185 mu in the summer season.

In the last summer, around 49 urban local bodies faced severe drinking water scarcity though there was no drought anywhere in the State. Residents used to get water supply once in a fortnight and in some cases the water was supplied through tankers.

Anekal (Bangalore Urban district), Devanahalli, Vijayapura, Nelamangala (Bangalore Rural), Chitradurga, Hosdurga (Chitradurga), Chikkaballapur, Chintamani, Shiddlaghatta, Bagepalli (Chikkaballapur), Kolar, KGF, Bangarpet, Mulbagal (Kolar), Madhugiri, Pavagad (Tumkur) and Jamkhandi, Ilakal (Bagalkot) were the worst affected last year.

The DMA is yet to finalise a contingency plan to tackle the scarcity in summer. “We have directed all urban local bodies to submit a report on the ground situation. The plan will be ready by first week of March,” said C G Suprasanna, Joint Director (Development), DMA.

Specific direction will be issued to each local body depending on the situation. The Directorate has a grant of Rs 15 crore under the State Finance Commission to provide drinking water in summer.

Parched local bodies

Bangalore Urban: Anekal
Bangalore Rural: Devanahalli, Doddaballapur, Vijayapura and Nelamangala
Chikkaballapur: Chikkaballapur, Chintamani, Shidlghatta and Bagepalli
Kolar: Kolar, KGF, Bangarpet and Mulbagal
Tumkur: Tumkur, Madhugiri, Pavagad, Koratagere, Gubbi and Turuvekere
Ramanagar: Kanakpura and Ramanagar
Chitradurga: Chitradurga and Hosadurga
Davangere: Davangere and Chennagiri
Bagalkot: Jamakhandi, Ilakall, Gulledagudda, Mudhol and Banahatti
Bijapur: Basavanabagewadi, Muddebihal, Sindhagi and Indi
Koppal: Kustagi
Belgaum: Belgaum, Nippani, Gokak, Bailahongal, Chikkodi, Athani and Hukkeri
Gadag: Gajendragad, Lakshmeshwara, Naragund, Mundargi and Ron
Uttara Kannada: Ankola and Karwar
Haveri: Ranebennur, Hangal, Shiggaon and Bankapur
Dharwad: Annigeri and Kundagol
Bellary: Siruguppa, Tekalakote and Bellary
Kodagu: Kodagu and Virajpet
Chamarajnagar: Hanur
Dakshina Kannada: Mudabidre, Puttur, Ullala and Mangalore
Shimoga: Shimoga and Bhadravathi
(Note: Water scarcity is likely to arise in these local bodies during summer. Water will be supplied either once in a week or through tankers in these places)