Water scarcity assumes mammoth proportions

Mercury is soaring, days are getting hotter and water is turning into a scarce resource.

Girls out on bicycles to bring water from faraway places. dh photo

Four taluks in the district had already been declared drought-hit owing to less rainfall that the region received last season. Though summer is yet to set its feet into the district, water scarcity is already staring in the face. With a huge drop in ground water levels in Harave, Kasaba Hobli, Gundlupet and other forest bordering villages in the region are already facing crisis-like situation as far as drinking water is concerned. 

The scene of women and children going towards agriculture pumpsets to collect water for home needs, is quite a common one in the area. With rural areas not even enjoying three hours of uninterrupted three-phase-power supply, even using agriculture pumpsets to draw water is a tough ordeal. A list was drawn up from ZP Engineering section pertaining to those villages which were going to be the worst hit as far as drinking water problem is concerned.

As per the list, 67 villages in Kollegal taluk, 12 villages in Gundlupet taluk, and 45 villages in Chamarajanagar taluk were facing tough time as far as drinking water problem is concerned. However, in the current scenario, the number of affected villages seems to be much more than what was projected. Officers including Panchayat Raj assistant engineers, taluk panchayat CEO, tahsildar and others have been directed to prepare another list of villages which are going to be worst affected by water crisis.

Managing the problem

Rs 92 lakh has been released to Zilla Panchayat to sink borewells in villages which are anticipated to face huge water crisis. Engineering department of Panchayat Raj is making preparations to use the funds to reduce water crisis.

However, as it has been happening since long, Gram Panchayats have been consistently failing in managing the bore wells and use them for longer time periods. If maintenance is done at regular intervals, water crisis can be managed with less challenges. However, local bodies are falling short of doing the most essential duty, say the officers.

The district has received only Rs 4.5 crore for drought relief programmes. With proper planning, action plan has been drawn up for 137 works and it has been flagged off at a cost of Rs 2.89 crore in four assembly constituencies, to create drinking water facilities.

Additional funds will be made available to the district only after these funds are utilised.
 
Executive engineer of zilla panchayat, R K Raju said action has been taken to find solution to drinking water problems and works relating to drought relief measures initiated in the district. A list will be drawn up soon to take up relief works in worst-hit villages, he added.

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