100 taluks in Karnataka hit by drinking water crisis, says Chief Minister

A helpline and a control room would be set up for monitoring the drinking water crisis and drought: Siddaramaiah

Updated - March 05, 2024 09:09 pm IST

Published - March 05, 2024 09:08 pm IST - BENGALURU

A private tanker selling water at Hesargatta main Road in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

A private tanker selling water at Hesargatta main Road in Bengaluru on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

Close to 100 taluks in Karnataka have been facing severe drinking water crisis and tankers have been pressed into service to supply water to residents. Similarly, drinking water is being supplied to 96 wards of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in Bengaluru, and 250 tankers have been deployed to mitigate drinking water requirements of the city.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday took stock of the situation in the State by holding a videoconference with Deputy Commissioners and Chief Executive Officers of ZPs and said 98 out of 236 taluks have been facing drinking water crisis owing to drought. The State had declared 223 taluks as drought-hit.

It is estimated that 7,408 villages and 1,115 wards in urban local bodies would face drinking water shortage. Agreements have been signed with owners of private borewells to supply water to drought hit villages/towns, he said.

Steps have been taken for water supply in villages and towns through repair of government borewells, hiring of private borewells, and use of tankers. Officials have been told to respond to the grievances of people by closely monitoring the social media tools.

Noting the crop loss that has occurred extensively, the Chief Minister said ₹631 crore had been disbursed to 33.25 lakh farmers.

Guarantees and migration

Mr. Siddaramaiah said the drought-hit villagers have not been migrating to cities owing to the impact of “guarantee” schemes implemented by the government. Close to 4.5 crore people have been benefiting from the welfare schemes of the government, he said.

He reiterated that the Centre had not approved the State’s demand for 150 days of labour under the MGNREGA. The amount too not has been sanctioned for the people who had worked under the scheme, he said.

Helpline, control room

A helpline and a control room would be set up to monitor the drinking water crisis and drought. There was no shortage of funds for relief work, he said.

A sum of ₹854 crore was with the Deputy Commissioners and they were authorised to take decisions on supplying drinking water in tankers and drilling borewells, if required, said Mr. Siddaramaiah. Task forces have been set up in each district for handling the water situation and fodder, he said.

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