Pavagad: Drinking water still a dream

Many proposals for supply floated, but not a single one has materialised

Supply of pure water to the residents of the Pavagad taluk in the district, which has high fluoride and poisonous chemical content in the groundwater, is bound to remain a dream.

Though there are proposals to supply water from Rivers Hemavathi and Bhadra, only a few villages in the taluk would be benefitted from the project.

Pavagad taluk, which is surrounded by Andhra Pradesh on three sides has 145 revenue villages.

As many as 2.47 lakh people live in rural areas while Pavagad town has a population of 18,284. There are 369 habitations in the district.

The groundwater is unfit for drinking as many as 179 habitations as groundwater in 91 villages has very high fluoride content while in the rest 88 villages, groundwater is contaminated with poisonous chemicals.

27 villages

According to a proposal submitted by the Zilla Panchayat to the Karnataka government drinking water from the River Hemavathi can only be supplied to 27 villages while from the River Bhadra it can supplied to 17 villages.

As a result people in the 135 habitations will be forced to drink contaminated water. The proposals doesn’t even cover half of the habitations.

In an another proposal, the Tumkur Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Board has planned to supply Hemavathi Canal water to the Pavagad town and to 27 villages on the way.

Further survey work on supplying drinking water from Kannamedikere (tank) and Byadanurukere has also begun. However, even in this project water can only be supplied to 16 and 11 villages respectively.

Interestingly, the Chitradurga Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Board has also drawn up a project to draw water from Tungabhadra Dam to supply drinking water to Chitradurga, Challekere and to Pavagad taluk via Parusharampura. However, it can only cater to 17 villages.

Even if some of the aformentioned projects were implemented, still a whopping 75 per cent of the population in the taluk would be forced to drink water containing fluoride.

De-fluoride units

De-fluoride units are already functioning in 21 villages in the taluk. There is a proposal before the government to establish the units in every village affected by high fluoride and chemical content in groundwater.

The Zilla Panchayat has submitted a Rs 23-crore proposal to establish units in 135 habitations.

Neeravari Horata Samiti co-ordinator K E Siddaiah said that there should be no politics in giving water to the affected region. A project should be mooted to provide river water to whole taluk.

The government has made no efforts to provide drinking water to Pavagad from Andhra Pradesh’s drinking water scheme.

The neighbouring state provides drinking water to its Madakshira region, for which the pipeline passes through the taluk. No efforts have also been made to harness the rainwater in the taluk which is surrounded by many hills.

Bhadra project

The residents in the taluk had been fighting for water from the Upper Bhadra Project for drinking and irrigation purposes.

However, according to the action plan submitted to the government, there is mention of water allocation to Pavagad taluk, sources said.

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