KOZHIKODE: With summer rains yet to come, the local bodies of the high ranges in the district are at the receiving end as the early drought and depleting water sources have put them in a fix. The Thusharagiri waterfalls have almost dried up except a thin line of water and the tributaries of River Chaliyar, Iruvanjippuzha and Chalippuzha have already reduced to a water line. Majority of the areas in Kodanchery, Thiruvambadi, Koodaranji, Thamarassery and Puthuppadi are facing acute shortage of water. Engappuzha district panchayat member VD Joseph told DC that people of the high ranges were heading for a water crisis.
“Though the summer was expected, such a crisis was unexpected”, he said. “Most of the wells have dried up and people have no money to dig wells”, he added. Kodanchery village panchayats president Annakkutti Devasia told DC that she was witnessing such a situation for the first time in her life. “The intensity of the drought is almost like what we witness in April, at the height of summer”, she added. “We have already started with the water literacy campaign among people to ensure that the consumption of water is less”, she said, adding that women were more aware of the value of water now.
“But we are very worried about the dwindling water-level in our drinking water pumping stations”, she said. At the points where there were check-dams in rivers the water-level was slightly better, she added. The high ranges received two rains earlier which slowed the depletion rate of water-level. However the city suburbs are relieved as the Kerala Water Authority’s expansion of the Japan funded JAICA drinking water project which almost covers the city, is underway. The district administration has plans to set up drinking water supply points in drought hit wards of all panchayats. A list of places where acute water shortage is faced has been prepared and water tanks will be placed at these points which would be filled using water supply trucks.