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Water crisis hits more than half of Karnataka; govt readies contingency plan

Rainfall deficit across Karnataka has contributed to the drinking water shortage, RDPR Minister Priyank Kharge was informed at a review meeting. 
harath Joshi
Last Updated : 26 June 2023, 17:22 IST
Last Updated : 26 June 2023, 17:22 IST
Last Updated : 26 June 2023, 17:22 IST
Last Updated : 26 June 2023, 17:22 IST

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At least sixteen districts - that’s more than half of Karnataka - are facing a drinking water problem with the government on Monday instructing officials to prepare a contingency plan and brace for a “drought-like” situation.

Rainfall deficit across the state has contributed to the drinking water shortage, Rural Development & Panchayat (RDPR) Minister Priyank Kharge was told by officials at a review meeting.

Five of the 16 districts where there is a water problem - Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu, Shivamogga, Uttara Kannada and Udupi - have also seen a big drop in groundwater levels over the last decade.

Priyank, who reviewed the situation, directed all zilla panchayat chief executive officers to prepare a two-month contingency plan for drinking water, secure local water resources and coordinate with the revenue department for “a possible drought-like situation” in some districts.

Speaking to DH, Priyank said 501 villages in 99 taluks have a drinking water problem. “But there has been improvement in Uttara Kannada, for example, where there have been showers for the past two days,” he said.

According to information tabled during Priyank’s review meeting, north interior Karnataka, Malnad and coastal regions have faced a rainfall deficit in the range of 68-80 per cent this month. A total of 27 districts have received rainfall deficit.

There are 424 villages in 24 districts where 365 tankers have been pressed into service to supply drinking water. Also, in 357 villages, water is being supplied through 431 private borewells that have been hired.

According to a statement from the minister’s office, the state could be staring at the worst rainfall deficit in 50 years. However, the situation is improving by the day as rains continue in almost all districts, it added.

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Published 26 June 2023, 16:07 IST

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