KARNATAKA

Ensure water supply to villages, says Manjunath

CHITRADURGA, MARCH 11. The Minister for Higher Education and in charge of the district, D. Manjunath, has instructed the district administration to arrange for the supply of drinking water through tankers to villages facing a severe shortage.

Chairing a review meeting called to discuss the drinking water crisis in the district here on Thursday, he said that of the Rs. 6.93 crores released under the natural calamity fund, Rs. 5.88 crores has been spent so far.

He expressed anxiety over the drinking water situation in the district as the water level in the recently drilled borewells is receding at an alarming rate.

The borewells dug recently at Hireguntanur and Bellghatta villages in Chitradurga taluk have dried up and efforts are on to supply water through tankers, he said. He asked the assistant executive engineers of all taluks to arrange for a tanker in their respective areas to supply water in case of an emergency.

He wanted the Rs. 1.05 crores available with the Deputy Commissioner and Rs. 1.42 crores with the zilla panchayat to be used to ease the drinking water problem.

Car festival

He said that around 324 villages in the district may face a drinking water shortage and an estimate has been submitted to the Government urging it to release Rs. 6.61 crores to tackle it. He also explained the arrangements made to supply drinking water to devotees attending the Naykanahatti Thippeswamy car festival.

Mr. Manjunath also promised to issue yellow cards to those living below the poverty line in May.

The Deputy Commissioner, S.R. Umashankar, said that the scarcity is severe in 19 villages in Molakalmuru, 50 in Holalkere, 55 in Bharamasagar, 51 in Challakere, 32 in Hiriyur, and 33 villages in Chitradurga taluk.

He said that he has instructed the assistant executive engineer of the zilla panchayat to prepare an action plan for Rs. 1 crore to tackle the crisis.

He asked the officials of the various departments to take up intensive drought relief works as Rs. 10 crores and foodgrains worth Rs. 6 crores have been released under the food-for-work programme.

Demanded

The Holalkere MLA, A.V. Umapathy, demanded that Rs. 1.1 crore be released for the supply of drinking water to 50 villages in the taluk. The Chitradurga MLA, G.H. Thippa Reddy, drew the attention of the officials to the problems faced by people in Chitradurga town.

The Hosadurga MLA, B.G. Govindappa, said there is power shortage and asked the department concerned to ensure regular supply of power.

The Chief Executive Officer of the zilla panchayat, Naryanaswamy; the Headquarters' Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner, S. Vijaya Kumar; and district-level officers participated in the meeting.

Accused

The Chairman of the Standing Committee on Health and Education in the zilla panchayat, H. Hanumanthappa, charged the district administration with not attending to the severe drinking water problem in the district.

Participating in a review meeting of the Karnataka Development Programme here on Friday, Mr. Hanumanthappa accused the district administration of not utilising the sanctioned funds to take up drought relief works.

"The district in-charge Minister, D. Manjunath, always says that there is no dearth of funds for drinking water supply schemes in the district. But the money is not being used here," he insisted.

Erratic power supply

Mr. Hanumanthappa said that he will not move out of the hall till the accounts for the amount spent on drinking water supply are made public.

He took exception to the erratic power supply in rural areas and said that drinking water supply has been affected by this.

The president of the zilla panchayat, Girija Pujari Ningappa, asked the officers to utilise the entire amount sanctioned for developmental activities and warned that officials will be held responsible if the sanctioned amount lapses. Mr. Hanumanthappa demanded that a special team be formed to inspect the implementation of watershed development works executed in the district in the last two years.

Crop insurance

The Chairman of the Standing Committee on Agriculture, G. Thippeswamy, urged district officials to settle claims of crop insurance in the district at the earliest and spend the funds under the special component scheme to help the people from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

The vice-president of the zilla panchayat, H. Nagaraj; the Chief Planning Officer, B.K. Manjunath; the Deputy Secretary, Nandeesh; and the Chief Accounts Officer, S. Manjunath, participated in the meeting.