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Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah orders release of Rs 210 cr to fight water crisis

Of this, Rs 70 crore is meant to drill new borewells wherever necessary to find water.
Last Updated 05 March 2024, 15:05 IST

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday ordered the release of Rs 210 crore for district-level authorities to manage the drinking water crisis, which the government fears can become worse in the coming days.

Of this, Rs 70 crore is meant to drill new borewells wherever necessary to find water, Siddaramaiah said after chairing a meeting to take stock of the situation.

"Clear instructions have been issued...don't be lethargic or negligent. At no cost should there be any drinking water problem. We'll provide any amount of funds required," Siddaramaiah said, adding that deputy commissioners already have Rs 854 crore with them.

There is a drinking water problem in 412 gram panchayats across 98 taluks, the CM said. "In 175 villages, 204 tankers are being used. In 500 villages, 596 borewells are being used. In Bengaluru, 120 BBMP and 232 BWSSB tankers are being used. In other urban areas, 96 wards in 20 cities are depending on tankers and in 29 wards, private borewells are being used," he explained.

According to Siddaramaiah, the drinking water problem is "getting worse" since February. "We have identified 7,408 villages as potentially problematic. As a solution, agreements have been made with 7,340 private borewell owners," he said.

District-level and taluk-level control rooms and helplines must be set up, Siddaramaiah instructed.

Normal rainfall expected

Siddaramaiah said 9 mm of pre-monsoon rainfall is expected. "According to the weather forecast, normal rainfall is expected," he said.

Siddaramaiah pointed out that the water levels in reservoirs have not drastically decreased. "The water level has decreased only in the Tungabhadra reservoir. It is estimated that people depending on the Tungabhadra river for drinking water will face water problems. Monsoon is expected to start on time. But there's a risk period until the end of June," he said, adding that 1.78 tmcft of water available in Tungabhadra must be maintained until June. He also said that there is no problem for drinking water in Narayanapura, Alamatti, Malaprabha, Ghataprabha and Cauvery basins.

Fodder

The government is giving Rs 40 crore to the departments of animal husbandry, agriculture and sericulture to grow fodder as a precautionary measure, Siddaramaiah said. "For now, there's no shortage of fodder except in isolated pockets," he said, adding that deputy commissioners have been instructed to bank inter-district fodder movement.

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(Published 05 March 2024, 15:05 IST)

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