Summer's a month away but North Karnataka region goes thirsty

Leaders of all politicial parties busy with ZP-TP polls, ignore imminent crisis.

Hubballi: A severe drinking water crisis looms large over most villages in North Karnataka in the forthcoming summer.

But, leaders of all political parties have turned their focus to the forthcoming zilla and taluk panchayat elections though the high fluoride content in water has been posing health hazards with the underground water table receding in several taluks.

People will be forced to walk several kilometres to fetch drinking water as lakes have dried up in many villages due to drought for two consecutive years. The drop in the water level in Almatti and Tungabhadra dams has become a cause of worry for people in the region. The government has also failed to fulfill its promise to set up reverse osmosis plants in rural areas. Several plants have become defunct due to lack of maintenance in rural areas. The problem will aggravate if power shortage poses hurdles to storage in tanks from borewells or river water. Several permanent drinking water projects in rural areas are also progressing at a snail’s pace, causing concern among villagers.

People of Gadag-Betageri twin city, the home town of rural development and panchayat raj minister H.K. Patil, will be worst hit during summer. Officials claim that the water supply stands at 11 million litres per day as against the of 20 million litres. The water level will recede by next month in Tungabhadra river which is the main source of drinking water for citizens of Gadag-Betageri.

Villages in Ron and Nargund taluks will also be prone to a water crisis as the underground water table has fallen more than 400 feet. The officials of the Zilla Panchayat have failed to get water despite digging many borewells in these taluks. “The process to set up around 185 reverse osmosis plants is underway in Gadag district which has a high fluoride content in underground water. We have evolved plans to supply water from Malaprabha and Tungabhadra rivers under the multi-village scheme at a cost of Rs 1,030 crores. We will arrange drinking water supply to the villages through tankers in summer as the project requires at least 30 months for completion. Several water purification plants are not working in the district as the agencies concerned and Gram Panchayats have failed to take up maintenance work", said Gadag Zilla Panchayat water supply division executive engineer G.B. Kattimani. Several villages in Kundagol, Navalgund and Dharwad taluks will also face acute shortage of drinking water during summer.

Officials had to face the wrath of people in Kusugal, Banidwad, Nagarahalli, Ingalahalli villages for failure to supply adequate water in tankers. Dried up lakes and defunct borewells have worsened the problems in these villages. People in rural parts of Bagalkot have been reeling under water scarcity every summer despite three rivers- Krishna, Malaprabha and Ghataprabha flowing through the district.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
Next Story