Kasaragod faces drought-like situation

The dried-up riverbed of the Payaswini river at Neyyankayam in Kasaragod.K. VINAYA KUMAR  

The district is facing an acute drought-like situation with major rivers here beginning to dry up as early as March. The water flow in the Payaswini river, a tributary of the Chandragiri, has stopped at Neyyamkayam near the north-eastern border hamlet of Kanathur.

The drying up of the river that originates in Karnataka’s Sullia has put the farmers on either side of the river in a spot.

They had to suspend irrigation of crops such as areca nut, plantains, and vegetables owing to water shortage.

The farmers in the locality are also facing threat from wild elephants which intrude the farmlands in search of water and fodder. The Forest Department, however, has not taken any concrete steps to address the situation.

The grim situation has been attributed to the poor north-east monsoon for the second consecutive year. The region also did not get any rain despite the southern districts getting copious showers under the impact of Cyclone Ockhi a few months ago.

The district is also facing acute drinking water shortage. In many areas residents have to walk long distances to fetch potable water due to depletion in groundwater level.

In view of the situation, the Groundwater Department has made it mandatory to get its feasibility report before seeking permission from the respective local bodies to sink bore well, Groundwater Department district officer P. Sitaram Bhat said.