At Kochanahalli village in Varuna Assembly constituency in the district, there’s a more pressing topic of conversation that elections: water.
And, helping this water-starved village quench its thirst is Marimadappa, a shopkeeper.
When The Hindu visited this village off Bangalore–Niligiri road, women of the village were seen waiting outside his house, for the water he supplies to them for free.
“I pay about Rs. 2,000 a month on the electricity bill (for running the motor to pump water from the borewell). I do not mind paying the bill as I consider it as a service I am doing for my people,” said Mr. Marimadappa, who supplies unlimited water to the residents.
Though not very far from the Kabini, the village, with a population of about 1,000, is deprived of surface water. Consecutive droughts and depleting water sources has led to scarcity.
Revanna, who works in a private factory at Thandya industrial area, said: “The water problem would have turned from bad to worse if we were not assured of water from Marimadappa’s borewell.”
The village gets borewell water supply once in five days, which is stored in the overhead tank. “We need another tank to ease the water problem,” said Shivamurthy from the village.
“Elections come and go, but there is no end to our problems,” said a bunch of people, who were waiting for a bus on the main road.
Meanwhile, not too far away at Koodanahalli in the same constituency, voters raise the issues of bad roads, poor transportation and lack of healthcare facility.
“Children walk about 5 km a day to reach the government high school at Devalapura in the absence of proper bus service. The village is cut off from other places after 6 p.m. Power supply has turned from bad to worse,” complained a group of residents.
With a population of around 2,000, Koodanahalli lacks a primary health centre. “We either go to Kadakola or Devalapura. It is tough during a medical emergency,” said Siddappa, a resident.