In the light of at least 12 deaths that have occurred owing to consumption of contaminated water across the State, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday has sought an action taken report to identify and seggregate sewer lines and drinking water pipelines within 15 days as part of a hygiene drive.
Reiterating his earlier threat to take action against the chief executive officers of zilla panchayats and commissioners of municipalities if more deaths due to contaminated water occur in future, the Chief Minister pointed out that the deaths, including five at Kavadigara Hatti in Chitradurga recently, have been reported in the State due to consumption of contaminated water.
“In all the areas where the poor are residing in the State, it is mandatory to check and confirm that the water pipeline and sewer pipeline are laid separately. In those areas where it is not separated, such lines are to be identified and separated. Action taken report should be submitted within 15 days,” he instructed officials at a meeting here on Tuesday that had been convened to discuss the problems of drinking water in the State.
“Incidents like the one at Kavadigara Hatti in Chitradurga are happening due to the negligence of officials. There has to be coordination between Departments of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Municipal Administration, Urban Development and Health.”
The Hindu reported on contamination-related deaths across Karnataka in its issue dated August 18, 2023.
39 taluks hit by drinking water scarcity
As the Monsoon has been erratic in the State, drinking water scaricity has hit 39 taluks. According to RDPR Minister Priyank Kharge, the government is supplying water through tankers to 121 villages, which require a grant of ₹86 crore.
Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao suggested that a minimum amount has to be set aside for hygiene and cleanliness, and pointed out that the priority under the SCST/ TSP is given for the construction of roads and other civil works.