Chikkamagaluru stares at water crisis

Chikkamagaluru stares at water crisis

Villagers collect water from a cattle pond in Chikkamagaluru.

Villages situated in plane regions in Chikkamagaluru district are staring at a water crisis. The residents and cattle are struggling for water. 

Already, the authorities are supplying water to 10 villages in Kadur taluk and five villages in Chikkamagaluru through tankers.

The authorities have taken private borewells for rent at Kanchagallu, Girithimmapura and Madalu villages in Kadur taluk to supply water to the residents. 

Water is supplied once in four days or 10 days at Lakya, Belavadi, Hiregowja, Ishwarahalli, Lakkammanahalli and Kyathanabeedu in Chikkamagaluru. The water level in borewells has declined drastically. 

“A few who own borewells in their farmland supply water through tankers and charge Rs 30 per drum of water (a drum has the capacity to store 20 pots of water). Purchase of water is inevitable. The gram panchayat has not taken measures to supply water for the last one month,” said Manjunath of Hiregowja. 

“It is the poor and the middle class who suffer from water scarcity. The residents have to travel for several kilometres to fetch a pot of water,” said a resident. 

With the water bodies going dry, cattle are also affected. The water that is stored in the cattle pond is collected by the residents for their household chores. 

Jayamma, a resident of Dalit Colony in Hiregowja said, “I have to take up coolie work to eke out a living. We have not received water for the last several days. We have to pay Rs 30 per drum of water. There is no one to listen to our woes.” 

Mamatha, a resident of Lakhya said, “We get water once in eight days. The borewell owners scare us if we visit them to collect water daily.” 

It is a Herculean task to manage the available water for washing and household chores, said the residents. 

Rural Water Supply and Panchayat Raj Department engineer Shivakumar said, “20 borewells in Kadur and 12 in Chikkamagaluru have been sunk since January. Five borewells have failed to yield any water. The borewells will be sunk wherever it is necessary.”

Speaking to DH, Animal husbandry department deputy director Dr T P Mallikarjuna said the fodder available in Kadur taluk is sufficient for 12 weeks, in Tarikere for 20 weeks, while in Chikkamagluru, it will be sufficient for 70 weeks.

As Kadur taluk might face a shortage of fodder, it has been decided to open fodder banks at Panchanagalli APMC yard, Coconut and Coir Development Board at Singatagere, Kadur APMC godown. Seeds will be supplied to those who have the water supply to cultivate fodder for cattle, he added.

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