Another summer is here and Karnataka has been hit by a water crisis yet again. Starting from the capital city of Bengaluru to the traditionally arid northwestern part of Hyderabad-Karnataka region, the water crisis is alarming throughout the entire state. According to the State Emergency Operation Centre, a total of 996 villages in 26 districts are being supplied drinking water through tankers as a relief measure.
This is in addition to 815 villages which are getting drinking water supply from 1000 private bore wells hired by district authorities.
Among the worst hit districts are Tumakuru, Vijayapura, Chitradurga and Chikkaballapura having more than 100 villages. While Tumakuru is the worst hit with 142 villages serviced by these tankers, Chitradurga and Vijayapura have 112 villages each. Bengaluru Urban district has 18 villages while Bengaluru Rural has another 82 villages needing this emergency service.
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For urban areas, a total of 244 wards are supplied water through 180 tankers. Even here, Tumakauru is the worst affected with 46 wards along with Kolar having the same number of affected wards. Bengaluru Urban is among the worst hit with 25 wards receiving water through tankers. while Bijapur has 10 wards and Koppal 13 wards.
And the situation is unlikely to change for the better as the monsoon which is set to arrive in June is also expected to be below normal. The state of Karnataka has already suffered three successive drought years.
For the entire 2018, while 21 taluks got excess rainfall across the state, 73 taluks had deficient rainfall and two taluks had scanty rainfall. The rest 80 taluks had normal rainfall.
Karnataka State Disaster Monitoring Centre’s Managing Director Srinivas Reddy said, “As far as places which are serviced by the Irrigation Department or urban local bodies are concerned, for now there is no such shortage as we have water in our reservoirs. But the remaining 60% of the state is dependent mostly on groundwater and they are facing problems. So even for Bengaluru, the problem is mainly in the newly added 110 villages which do not have Cauvery water supply. ”
“In places where there is a crisis, the Revenue Department is making arrangements to ensure supply of drinking water through tankers using funds kept for state disaster relief,” he added.
As of Tuesday, the water levels of the state reservoirs are much below their full capacities, and nearly at the same level as that of last year.
Tanks managed by the minor irrigation department are also running short of water. A majority of the districts have more than 50% dry tanks.