Hyderabad: Groundwater levels are plummeting alarmingly in Telangana even before peak summer. While summer had just set in, groundwater levels in all districts have already touched rock-bottom, raising alarm bells over impending drinking water crisis across the State.
The situation has entered the danger zone in over 1,000 villages. All municipalities and municipal corporations are experiencing water scarcity. The situation is worse in villages and agency areas. People are now forced to spend more for buying drinking water. Last year, the government tried to supply drinking water by hiring private water tankers. This year, they were reluctant to supply tankers as the dues of last year are yet to be cleared.
The groundwater department has gathered the data based on 10 erstwhile districts. The situation in Karimnagar district is the worst with the groundwater table falling to 16 metres. This was followed by Nizamabad (13.88 mts), Ranga Reddy (13.73mts), Medak (12.16mts), Nalgonda (11.45mts), Khammam (10.92mts), Mahabubnagar (9.79mts), Warangal (9.6mts) and Adilabad (9.05mts) Warangal district topped in maximum number of villages which entered danger zone at 213. This is followed by Adilabad (190mts), Nizamabad (188mts), Mahabubnagar (177mts), Nalgonda (163mts), Medak (108mts), Ranga Reddy (100mts), Karimnagar (92mts) and Khammam (82mts).
Another worrying factor was a steep decline in levels of all the waterbodies in a month. The level in all districts came down significantly in February compared to January. As per the reports obtained by the government, 18 out of the total 31 districts are facing drinking water crisis.
Officials sources revealed that these districts include Asifabad, Adilabad, Bhupalpally, Jagtial, Kamareddy, Karimnagar, Mahbubnagar, Medak, Nirmal, Nalgonda, Nagarkurnool, Ranga Reddy, Suryapet, Siddipet, Siricilla, Wanaparthy, Vikarabad and Yadadri.
Making matters worse, Mission Bhagiratha — a project to supply drinking water to all households — is also moving at a slow pace in majority of the districts and the chances of water for all households in summer looks grim.
The government has set in a deadline for contractors to complete Mission Bhagiratha by March 31. However, going by the current pace of work, all works are expected to be complete only by June-end.
The laying of main pipeline network has been completed to 90 per cent, but intra-village pipeline network is lagging behind at just 60 per cent without which water will not reach villages and households. This leaves the TS to rely on bore wells, agricultural bore wells to ensure water supply in summer.