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Water crisis: PU colleges in the soup

The Pre University Colleges are all set to reopen from May 20 onwards in the coastal districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada which are in the grip of unprecedented drought.

Speaking to DH, a PU College principal, on the condition of anonymity, said, “Earlier the calendar of events for the academic year was prepared in a scientific manner and colleges reopened on June 1, with the onset of monsoon. When the district, especially Mangaluru city, and Udupi are reeling under water crisis, how do you reopen colleges without making any alternative arrangement for water supply?”

“The colleges have to make arrangement for supply of water for drinking purpose, toilet use and for washing hands after the meals. Bureacrats who sit in Bengaluru and decide on calendar of events do not understand the ground reality,” he charged.

Dakshina Kannada district has 201 PU colleges of
which 53 are government colleges. Only a few colleges and schools have their own well and borewell to mitigate water crisis.

However, depletion of groundwater level is another cause of concern, he added.

Meanwhile, Dakshina Kannada District PU College Principals Association has submitted a memorandum to District In-charge Minister U T Khader urging him to postpone the reopening of PU Colleges for the academic year 2019-20.

In the memorandum, the association members have stated, “The water crisis has reached its peak during the season with people struggling to fetch a pot of water. Mangaluru City Corporation has introduced water rationing by supplying water for 96 hours and discontinuing water supply for another 72 hours. Apart from water crisis, students will also face inconvenience in the sweltering heat owing to power crisis in rural areas. In the interest of the students, the reopening of PU Colleges should be postponed.”

Even the schools will also reopen in the last week of May. Dakshina Kannada has 2,070 schools. A majority of the government schools have acute water crisis.

DDPI Shivaramayya said that a report on water crisis faced by the schools would be submitted to deputy commissioner, after collecting details from all the schools.

“If we fail to receive rain, we will face problem in schools for preparing mid-day meals as well,”said a headmaster.

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