Parched villages were deserted even before onset of summer

The dried up Tungabhadra near Raichur. — PHOTO: SANTOSH SAGAR

The dried up Tungabhadra near Raichur. — PHOTO: SANTOSH SAGAR

Acute drinking water crisis and mass migration are common in the backward Raichur district during summer. These two problems have become worse this year as the district is among those harshly hit by one of the worst droughts in the recent times.

Most of the villages in rain-fed areas were deserted much before the onset of summer as people left for megacities such as Bengaluru and Pune to make a living as unskilled labourers in the construction sector. They were rendered jobless as they could not take up farming in their villages because of drought.

Soon after the Department of Water Resources announced that it would not release any water from reservoirs for irrigation for the second crop (as the small quantum of water available would be used for drinking purpose), people from many villages even in irrigation belts along the Tungabhadra Left Bank Canal and Narayanpur Right Bank Canal left for big cities in search of work.

Now, children, women and elderly persons who were left behind in villages to take care of cattle and other minor works are facing shortage of drinking water and fodder. People are forced to fetch water from borewells drilled for irrigation purposes in faraway fields.

Residents of hundreds of villages along the Krishna and the Tungabhadra, which form the northern and southern borders of Raichur district respectively, could get some water during summer until now. However, they too are hit hard by water crisis this time as both the rivers have almost dried up.

Even cities and towns are facing drinking water crisis in this region. The only tank from which drinking water is supplied to Sindhanur town has storage that could last another fortnight. At present, water is supplied once a week in the town which has a population of around one lakh.

In Raichur also, which gets water from both the Krishna and the Tungabhadra, drinking water crisis is slowly deepening.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 6:42:44 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/parched-villages-were-deserted-even-before-onset-of-summer/article8346619.ece