'Utilise water from tanks only for drinking purposes'

'Utilise water from tanks only for drinking purposes'

In the wake of drought in several taluks in the State, the government has directed the authorities concerned to take steps to preserve water bodies and utilise water from tanks only for drinking purposes, Revenue Minister V Srinivasa Prasad informed the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.

Replying to a debate on the drought situation in 98 taluks in 25 districts in the State, Prasad said the government was taking steps to mitigate the scarcity of drinking water.

Besides preserving water bodies, round-the-clock control rooms would be opened at the hobli level to receive and attend
to complaints pertaining to drinking water.

The government has started supplying water through tankers in 80 villages. Officials have been asked to review the situation, he said.

The Rural Development and Panchayat Raj department has released Rs 62.06 crore for drinking water schemes and the Urban Development department Rs 40 crore to cater for the urban pockets.

In addition, the Revenue department has released Rs 105 crore from the State Disaster Response Fund for the purpose, Prasad said. The average rainfall in Karnataka between October 1 and December 1 last year was 32 pc below the normal.

The total loss of agricultural crops due to the prevailing drought was estimated at Rs 1,016 crore, and the loss of horticultural crops was put at Rs 702 crore.

Earlier, initiating the discussion, Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri (BJP) urged the government to take up remedial measures on a war footing, before the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha polls comes into effect. He also sought a ban on the transport of fodder outside the State.

N Chaluvarayaswamy (JD-S) demanded that the government immediately release Rs three crore to each Assembly constituency affected by drought to take up relief measures.

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