Groundwater levels plunge to record levels, making thousands of borewells in the district go bone dry

Some say this is one of the worst drinking water situations faced by the district in the last two or three decades, while others maintain that the condition is the worst ever. As summer is yet to peak, the groundwater levels have plunged to record levels, making thousands of borewells in the district go bone dry, complicating the already haphazard planning of the administration with regard to meeting the drinking water needs of the people in the district. More than 60 per cent of the district, corresponding with over 3,000 dwellings in the area, has been identified as being severely affected by the scarcity of drinking water, even as the government seems laidback in its response, given the sheer enormity of the crisis.

Not a single mandal in the district has less than at least 50 villages suffering from an acute drinking water crisis, while mandals such as Rayadurgam, Kalyanadurgam, Obuladevara Cheruvu, Nallamada, N.P.Kunta, Mudigubba, Talupula, etc. have close to 80 per cent of their habitations under severe duress.

While the district administration has responded to the crisis by belatedly petitioning the government for funds to dig borewells, the government is yet to respond with sanction of any meaningful amounts that could amount to a drastic change in the drinking water situation.

Concurring with the severity of the drinking water problem, Anantapur MP Ananta Venkatarami Rddy said that transportation of safe drinking water was the only alternative left for the government and district administration to meet the demand for drinking water across the district.

He reasoned that no amount of money spent of digging borewells would provide relief, as the groundwater levels had plunged to depths hitherto unheard of. He said that an operation on a massive scale needs to be taken up to transport water.