Of the 13,000 borewells, only 9,700 are functioning

: Because of two consecutive droughts, several villages, particularly the perennially water-starved areas, in Mysore district are facing a drinking water crisis ahead of summer. Authorities here claim that steps have been taken to tackle the crisis, and a special meeting of the Mysore Zilla Panchayat has been convened on February 11 to discuss the issue.

Sources in the zilla panchayat told The Hindu that of the 13,000 borewells in the district, only 9,700 were functioning, with the rest either drying up or yielding very little water.

The defunct borewells were being revived through deepening, hydrofracturing, and other interventions.Of the 663 borewells drilled this year, at least 64 of them had dried up and they too were being revived, the sources added.

But with water-levels falling, villagers are foreseeing a severe water crisis ahead of summer.

Mysore Zilla Panchayat CEO Ajay Nagabhushan told The Hindu that the problem was owing to groundwater depletion, and geologists of the Mines and Geology Department were assessing the borewells.

Villages surveyed

Every village was being surveyed to prepare data on the water situation, like the status of hand-pumps, mini-water supply, and piped water supply.

The survey report would be ready in a week for further action. Besides, steps had been taken under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme, a Central scheme.

Mr. Nagabhushan said a Rs. 16.5- crore contingency plan had been prepared in October last and the government had released Rs. 13.5 crore in January to mitigate the problem. New borewells would be dug and alternative water sources would be explored with these funds, he added.

Under the Calamity Relief Fund, deepening, hydrofracturing and cleaning of borewells were being done. All other steps had been taken to activate existing borewells.

On the advice of geologists, new borewells were being drilled away from the villages to ensure that the water yield was good.

However, Mr. Nagabhushan said the situation did not warrant the supply of water through tankers.

Helplines

Helplines had been started at the zilla panchayat office here and also at the taluk centres for attending water supply-related complaints. The helpline in Mysore ZP office is 0821-2560853.

Meanwhile, zilla panchyat Executive Engineer Gurudutt told this correspondent that Kabini water was being supplied to 58 villages in Doddakavalande hobli, a perennially drought-affected area in Nanjangud taluk, on a trial basis. Also, 52 villages in Yelwal hobli had been getting surface water for over eight months.

“We are focussing on permanent water supply from rivers as borewells are only emergency and temporary measures.”

He said 564 works worth Rs. 13.75 crore had been taken up under the contingency plan, and 90 per cent of them, including building tanks, were nearing completion. .

Annual action plan

Under the Rs. 76.06 crore annual action plan, 1,004 works had been taken up and 80 per cent of the works had been completed.

Revival and repair of borewells had been taken up under the Calamity Relief Fund at a cost of Rs. 7.8 crore, he explained.

He said a proposal had been sent to the Deputy Commissioner’s office seeking Rs. 21 crore for taking up more works to address water supply problems.


  • 90 per cent of works taken up under the contingency plan nearing completion

  • Situation hasn’t warranted supply of water through tankers: Nagabhushan


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