With reservoirs and tanks dry, residents form long queues at taps, borewells

Even when the Tungabhadra reservoir was full, people in the neighbourhood had to grapple with scarcity of drinking water. Now that the reservoir is steadily depleting, the plight of the people have only worsened.

In addition, almost all the tanks are bone dry, and long queues can be seen in front of taps and borewells. Residents living on the banks of the Vedavati, popularly known as Hagari, are resorting to ‘varthi' (an age-old practice of collecting water by digging a 2 ft-deep pit on the river bed where the underground water collects after a while).

The cattle and other livestock are seen travelling in herds in search of water holes to quench their thirst.

“This situation began as far back as September, when it did not rain. As a result, a majority of farmers cultivating in rain-fed areas suffered drop in yield of foodgrains and pulses during the kharif. It also led to severe scarcity of drinking water,” said Mudukappa, a farmer in Gudekote in Kudligi taluk.

He added that the sowing for the rabi season was severely affected and the harvest fell far below the target in areas where crops depend solely on rain. People in the western taluks — Sandur, Kudligi, Hagari Bommanahalli and Hadagali, fear that with no sign of pre-monsoon rain, the drinking water situation would become more acute.

‘Not that acute'

Admitting that all the seven taluks in the district were reeling under drought, Deputy Commissioner Amlan Aditya Biswas, however, said the situation was not that acute. He said priority had been accorded to tackle the drinking water scarcity, for which adequate funds had been released.

“The State government has released Rs. 6 crore from the Calamity Relief Fund for tackling drought in the district. So far, Rs. 5.91 crore had been allotted for various drinking water projects, proposed by the taluk-level task force committees,” he said on Monday, while addressing a press conference.

Mr. Biswas said that fodder stock was available in all the taluks, which was expected to last for about 39 weeks, and efforts were on to distribute fodder to villages facing shortage. In order to ease the drinking water problem in urban areas in the district, Rs. 82 lakh had been released to urban civic bodies to take up 45 works.

Manjunath Nayak, ZP CEO, said that separate funds were allocated through the ZP to overcome the drinking water scarcity in rural areas. He said adequate funds were available to take up drought relief works proposed by the task force committees besides initiating steps to solve the drinking water problem in the rural areas, by either rejuvenating existing borewells or by digging a new one.

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