November rains bring respite to arid Kolar, Chikkaballapur

Last Updated 20 May 2016, 19:05 IST

At first glance the shimmering sheet of water might seem like a mirage. But in reality several tanks and bunds in the parched districts of Kolar and Chikkaballapur are brimming with water despite the searing heat of this unforgiving summer.

These water bodies are not only quenching the thirst of thousands, aside from acting as a sight for the sore eyes; in terms of economics too, they have brought a huge respite. The districts, with no perennial source of water, have been grappling acute water shortage for more than three decades.

The dramatic change is being attributed to the pounding rains the districts received in November last year, owing to the cyclonic effect in the Bay of Bengal. Though erratic in its pattern, the rains have recharged the tanks, which in turn has resulted in a substantial improvement in the groundwater table. In turn, a majority of the borewells have recharged.

According to Chikkaballapur DC M V Venkatesh, about 40% of the minor irrigation tanks and 30% of zilla panchayat tanks, which were recharged in last November, continue to bear water even now. The district has 210 minor irrigation and 1,350 zilla panchayat tanks.

The district administration had supplied drinking water to 300 villages last year, This year it has come down to 30 villages In urbans areas too, the severity has reduced.

Last year water was supplied to 120 wards, while this year the number of wards came down to 26. “Because of the good rains last November, water problem has been resolved to an extent this year. Last year it was unmanageable. The number of villages that were facing acute shortage has gone down considerably as the borewells have been recharged.”

In Kolar too, the scenario has changed. Deputy commissioner Trilok Chandra said that water was supplied through tankers to 300 odd villages last year, but this year, water is being supplied to only 70 villages. He said that the water table which had receded to 1,000 ft has come up to 700 to 800 ft this year.

This year too, the districts are expecting good rainfall. Enthused, water conservation measures have taken primacy. Chandra said that Rs 17 crore has been spent under NREGA to construct 4,500 borewell recharging structures in Kolar. Eleven check dams have been constructed, while watershed management programme is being initiated under CSR in 5,000 hectares in Janaghatta.
DH News Service

(Published 20 May 2016, 19:05 IST)

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