13 drought-hit districts getting limited access to water: Officials | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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13 drought-hit districts getting limited access to water: Officials

By, Belagavi
Apr 02, 2024 07:31 AM IST

Amid acute water shortage, the government in last of February banned using water for agricultural purposes.

As northern part of the state reels under the extreme heat and lack of water, the 13 districts that were declared drought-hit are given access to water in once every 10 days or even longer, officials from concerned departments said on Monday.

Residents collect free water from a tanker amid water crisis, in Bengaluru. (PTI)
Residents collect free water from a tanker amid water crisis, in Bengaluru. (PTI)

The officials said that almost all rivers, including Krishna that is also known as the lifeline of north Karnataka, dried up by the end of March, which is much earlier than usual.

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A senior official said, “Water is being supplied to many villages once a week in the Belagavi district, while in some villages in the Kalyan Karnataka region, it is being stretched to 15 or 18 days. In Belagavi, water tankers are being dispatched to 46 villages but every family is allowed to fill only eight pots.”

Compared to Kalaburagi, Bidar, and Raichur, the situation in Yadagiri and Ballari districts in the Kalyan Karnataka region has worsened. Kallappa Tore, resident of Yadagiri taluk, said, “We have adjusted to living with less supplied water, have forgotten to take baths. As we couldn’t give water to our livestock, we have sold them for less amount.”

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesman MB Zirali on Monday said that the BJP government wisely handled the situation in Kalyan Karnataka, which as compared to Kittur Karnataka is known for facing severe drought receive very less rain every year.

“Though Narayanpur and Tungabadra reservoirs having sufficient water, people of the region supplying water once in 15-18-days, which focuses on the administration of Congress government,” he said.

Amid acute water shortage, the government in last of February banned using water for agricultural purposes and warned that violation of the order will attract fines along with seizing water pumps.

Yadagiri deputy commissioner S Sushila said that the district’s water supply has been reduced to ensure its sufficient availability until the end of June. “The district administration is supplying less to ensure the available water can be supplied until the end of June. If required, we will get water from Kalaburagi and Raichur districts where water is being supplied from Narayanpur and Tungabadra reservoirs.”

However, Kalaburagi deputy commissioner Fouzia Tarannum said, “The dried lakes and ponds in Kalaburagi and Raichur districts were filled with water released from Tungabadra and Narayanpur reservoirs that cannot reach the distant Yadagiri district.”

Iranna Kurubar, a resident of Yamakanamaradi in Hukkeri taluk, also highlighted the dire situation in their village, where all open wells have dried up. ““All the open wells in our village have dried up, we are getting tanker water once a week, whether small or big, each family is provided with 8 large size pots of water.”

Kalaburagi zilla panchayat CEO Bovarsingh Mina said, “Though all the water sources have dried up, we have booked water from private suppliers.”

State public works department minister and district in-charge of Belagavi Satish Jarkiholi, representing the Yamakanamaradi constituency for the third term, said that arrangements have been made to provide safe and sufficient water shortly. “To supply water to every family, limited water is being given, which would be increased in the days to come,” he added.

Responding to the woes, Belagavi deputy commissioner Nitesh Patil said the administration, to maintain groundwater levels ensuring the supply of water until the end of June, has banned digging new bore wells and has also hired private bore wells to supply water through tankers.

He said 46 villages in nine taluks in the district are being supplied water through hired tankers and also have kept reserved a few more tankers with recovered bore wells. “The administration is all set to tackle the summer situation with the required arrangements,” Patil said.

According to the Indian Meteorology Department (IMD), the temperature in Belgavi was 40 degree Celsius on Sunday. While the groundwater level has collapsed to 1,200 feet from 620 feet, with most of the open and bore wells dead, major rivers Krishna, Malaprabha, Ghataprabha, Markandeya, and Bhima have dried up. However, wise water management has worked out as both Malaprabha, Hidkal, and Alamatti reservoirs have sufficient water that could last till August.

Assistant executive engineer SK Madiwale, in charge of the 51-tmcft capacity Hidkal reservoir, the main water storage of Belagavi, said, “There was storage of 23.8-tmcft remaining, which could last until thesecond or third week of July.” The irrigation department, in its official statement, said that Alamatti, the largest reservoir in the state with 105-tmcft in Bagalkot district in north Karnataka, has 85-tmcft water currently, and 6.9-tmcft water remained in Malaprabha reservoir.

As the level of groundwater falls drastically, the Jal Jeevan Mission Project, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August 2019, has been stopped, thus, affecting more than 300 beneficiary villages in Belagavi district, reverting them to their previous position. “Hundreds of villages in Athani, Chikkodi, Raibag taluks in Belagavi and also in neighboring Bagalkot and Vijayapur districts are not being supplied water under However, though the rivers got dried groundwater level fallen down drastically the government,” said Lakshman Savadi, former BJP deputy CM, now Congress legislator representing Athani constituency.

Responding to the situation, the BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Iranna Kadadi said, “Lakhs of people are suffering due to the immature administration of Siddaramaiah government.” He further said that though the region was facing the same situation, the previous BJP governments effectively handled the situation where people were supplied sufficient water in May as well.

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