A drinking water project billed as a “Deepavali gift” to 58 villages in Nanjangud taluk, is yet to materialise.

The project was inaugurated with much fanfare by Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda on October 24. It was meant to provide relief to people of Dodda Kavalande hobli in Nanjangud taluk, which is a drought-prone area.

When the Chief Minister turned on the tap, the water gushed out of the pipes and the people of the region broke into jubilant celebrations.

But within hours after the politicians left, the tap went dry. Even three weeks later, there is no water supply.

The reason — a portion of the civil works is incomplete. The project was inaugurated in a hurry reportedly as Minister for Medical Education and district in charge Minister S.A. Ramdas was keen to provide a “perfect Deepavali gift” to the people of the region.

Objections overruled

The area comes under Chamarajanagar constituency. When contacted, R. Dhruvanarayana, Chamarajanagar MP, admitted that the work was yet to be completed. He claimed Mr. Ramdas was in a hurry to get the project inaugurated.

“When the dates were fixed for the inauguration, a few engineers at the site told me that the work was far from complete and they need at least another month to complete all the work. However, their objections were overruled by the Minister,” Mr. Dhruvanarayana said.

As a result, not a drop of water has been released after the inauguration.

Within 15 days

Authorities are confident that the project can be commissioned within 15 days. “More than 90 per cent of the civil works, including laying of the pipelines, have been completed. I am sure the water supply can resume in two to three weeks,” the MP said.

Water tanks had been built in all the beneficiary villages and pipelines had been laid, he added.

A lakh to benefit

Once commissioned, the drinking water project will quench the thirst of nearly a lakh people spread over 58 villages who have been facing an acute drinking water shortage even during the monsoons. It was necessitated as 699 borewells have dried up while 243 are contaminated, and the water table has dropped below 300 feet.

The project has been taken up at a cost of Rs. 21 crore.

Water will be supplied from the Kapila through pipes and is expected to serve a projected population of nearly 1.5 lakh till 2028.

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