Setback to government's water supply plan, no yield from newly drilled borewells

Setback to government's water supply plan, no yield from newly drilled borewells
The state government’s move to supply drinking water to people in severely drought-hit pockets of the state has hit a roadblock with most of the new borewells drilled not yielding water.

Minor Irrigation Minister T B Jayachandra told reporters that the government has sufficient grants to take up drought relief work. He said the administration machinery had been geared up and borewell drilling equipment was available. “But most of the new borewells are not yielding water. This has become a cause for worry,” Jayachandra said.

He said water exploration equipment with the mines and geology department can detect groundwater up to a depth 150 metres but they were of no use as the groundwater has plummeted below detection levels.

He said the government has opened 82 goshalas, which are providing shelter and fodder to 97,274 cattleheads.  As many as 339 fodder banks have been opened across the state. Water is being supplied through tankers in 1,145 villages. The deputy commissioners have sought immediate release of Rs 200 crore for relief works, he added.

The state government will begin the process of disbursement of drought relief to farmers utilising the Rs 1,235-crore grants released by the Centre from next week.

Jayachandra said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has sought the Centre’s intervention to help farmers by increasing the procurement of tur under the Price Support Scheme (PSS) till May 15 this year.

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