Water scarcity looms large over Chikkathimmanakatte

The residents of Pavagad taluk are perennially worried over the drinking water crisis. With the crack of dawn, they have to ponder over where they would get a few pitchers of water to push the day.

The taluk has been reeling under water scarcity for the past several years and Chikkathimmanakatte, a village in the taluk is one of the severely hit villages.
Chikkathimmanakatte, a small village in Nyayadagunte Gram Panchayat limits has around 200 houses with a population of 1,000. People here are haunted by the drinking water problem throughout the year.

Respite came to the villagers when a few political parties in the garb of wooing their voters, rushed a few tankers of water for about a week during elections. Worried over the fact that the villagers might remain away from exercising their franchise or vent their frustration over the water crisis, leaders resorted to face-saving tactics. However, the saga continued after elections. Not a single tanker came their way after that, residents said.

The gram panchayat used tankers to supply waters to Chikkathimmanakatte once in a while and that was the only respite that poured in occasionally. But unfortunately, irregularities in the business spoilt the sole relief. Tanker owners sought disbursement of payment of several bills in place of one visit to the village. The elders in the village decided to put an end to the menace, fearing disrepute in the name of water supply.
With this, the problem was back to square one. The women were the worst hit and they were made to trudge several kilometers every day in search of water from fields and farms.

The drinking water purification unit has stopped functioning. The borewell sunk to supply water to the purification unit has gone dry. Only three borewells exist in the entire village while only one functions and is the only source for the villagers to meet their water demands. Water is being supplied for about an hour or two every day. The power supply is often interrupted during the supply, thereby making the taps go dry. Most often women have to go back empty-handed, complain residents.

Farmer Hanumappa, said that the interruption in power supply hinders water supply to the farms and fields. Domestic animals are also hit.

“Due to lack of water and fodder, cattle and sheep are dying. If this was the fate even before the onslaught of summer, then how would peak summer be like,” he expressed apprehensions.

“These days, it has become a 24-hour worry on making ends meet to store water. It has become a full-time job to collect water from every available source. Our entire world revolves around this problem,” rues a woman from the village.

“We have been facing this problem for the past several years. Last year around this time, our woes was highlighted in the media. A few measures were taken to tide down the crisis. But no one listens to our woes this time,” says Ekantheshwar, a resident.

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