677 villages in Kolar district facing acute shortage; situation deteriorating as crops wither in the region

As summer approaches, drinking water shortage is imminent in many parts of Kolar district, which has been declared drought-hit.

The situation is worsening in the region as crops wither causing loss to farmers.

People have been protesting in front of various administrative centres, from gram panchayats to zilla panchayats, taluk offices to Deputy Commissioner’s offices seeking solutions to their problems.

Unscheduled load-shedding, both in rural and urban areas, has added to their woes.

People in several areas are forced to wait until night to collect water due to erratic power supply.

With 677 villages facing acute drinking water shortage, the zilla panchayat is banking on prevailing schemes and is preparing a Rs. 17-crore emergency plan to be sent to the State government.

Kolar is among the two districts in the State which were offered an opportunity to submit such a plan under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP).

Urgent works

According to panchayat Chief Executive Officer S.M. Zulfikarullah, the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department secretary had issued a direction on December 12, 2012, that urgent works would be uploaded on the Integrated Management Information System (IMIS).

A meeting of senior officers was convened recently to discus the modalities of forming an emergency plan.

Presiding over the meeting, panchayat president Chowdeshwari asked the officers to accord priority to supply drinking water and utilise all available resources to tackle the situation.

A Rs. 65.36-crore action plan under the NRDWP, in anticipation of the situation aggravating in summer, was sanctioned for the district.

Of that amount, Rs. 14.79 crore has been allocated to Bangarpet taluk, Rs. 13.45 crore to Kolar taluk, Rs. 13 crore to Malur, Rs. 11.35 crore to Mulbagal and Rs. 12.75 crore to Srinivaspur taluk. The Rs. 17-crore emergency plan will be in addition to the NRDWP action plan.

Panchayat Executive Engineer Devaraj said that 1,645 projects were taken up under the NRDWP plan and 918 of them had been completed, while work is on under 727 projects.

At present, government agencies are supplying drinking water through tankers to 111 villages in five taluks. While 44 tankers were pressed into service, 67 private tube wells were being used to supply water in these problematic villages.

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