Failing borewells expose deep malaise in CB'Pur

Residents of Anoor village in Chikkaballapur district buy water from private tankers at Rs two or three per pot, as water supplied from the district administration was inadequate.

Residents of many villages in Kolar and Chikkaballapur districts are buying a pot of water at Rs 2 or 3 per pot. The water is not potable and is used for domestic purposes. Potable water, on the other hand, bought from private parties, costs Re 1 for two litres.

Officials of the district administration said people were buying water despite rationed water supply. Repeated failures of borewells in the region has compounded the problem.

For residents of Anoor in Chintamani taluk, such water scarcity is unprecedented as borewells had enough water in the past. According to Srinivas Murthy, Gram Panchayat member, this was the first time that tankers were used to supply water.

“Two borewells dug in the past four months have failed. While one drilled using MLA funds lasted two-and-half months, another one made using Zilla Panchayat funds did not yield any water. Now, our hopes are pinned on a third borewell which will be dug soon,” he said.

Jyothi, a resident of the village, said they were forced to buy water from tankers at Rs 3 to 4 per pot of water. “The six pots of drinking water supplied on alternate days or once every three days by the district administration is insufficient,” she said.

Ramesh, a resident of Doddagajanuru, said some people bought a tanker-full of water for Rs 700 to 800. Since many cannot afford the same, they buy 20 to 30 pots of water from tankers. “For drinking, we buy Jeeva Jala or Amruta Jala - both drinking water brands, at Rs 10 for a 20-litre can,” he said.

Such scenarios were common in many villages of Mulbagal, Srinivaspur (both in Kolar district), Chintamani and Shidlaghatta taluks (both in Chikkaballapur district). Villagers are apprehensive that the situation will worsen if the monsoon fails again.

Speaking to DH, Anirudh Sravan P, Deputy Commissioner of Chikkaballapur district said that the water was extremely scarce and it was being rationed in the district. “The problem is acute in several taluks. Even the SP office located at Anakanur in Chikkaballapur taluk is being supplied with tanker water,” he said. The district, he noted, has had droughts in 8 of the last 10 years, which has aggravated the situation. To a question, he said private borewells in interior areas were being used by third parties for tanker water supply.

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