Drought triggers exodus in Raichur

People waiting for their turn to fetch water in Tuntapura village in Raichur district. DH photo /Anitha Pailoor

Hundreds of villages in Raichur district are struggling to sustain life in the face of a severe drought. 

In Tuntapura, located on the outskirts of Raichur city, two public borewells, each yielding a 1/2 inch trickle, are the only source of water for over 400 families residing in this village. On an average, one person has to manage one day with two pots of water.

“One person in the house is forced to do only this work. Of the 10 borewells that were sunk two weeks ago, only two yielded
water. Until then, we had to walk two to three km to get water from whatever source was available,” said gram panchayat member Anand Nayak.

The village tank that was the major water source and all the 350 borewells that irrigate the farms in the village have gone dry. At least 50 families have migrated from this village to sustain themselves.

People of Rangapura in Sindhanur taluk have to walk two km every day to fetch water as they don’t have access to potable water inside the village. 

Four villages in Lingsugur taluk endure just on tanker water.

Three months ago, the zilla panchayat had mapped 150 villages as drought-prone and of them, nearly 80 are now officially declared drought-affected.

“The number changes every day as the situation is fluctuating. In the drought-prone villages, we buy water from private borewells on a rental basis,” said Nalini Atul, chief executive officer, Raichur zilla panchayat. This year, Rs 7.5 crore from the zilla panchayat task force has been released in three phases to sink borewells, he said. But the situation continues to be grave as the success rate is low. 

Perpetual poverty has driven people out of their places to towns and cities to eke out a living. The bus stand and the railway station are filled with people, entire families in most cases, in the mornings and evenings. People in the villages that have access to irrigation are also forced to migrate this year.

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