The Karnataka government has introduced district-wise call centres for citizens to file complaints of water scarcity in their districts. This comes at a time when 3122 taluks of the state are facing scarcity of water. A state-level call centre exists, but district-level call centres have been established in order to ensure swift action by district administrations. To use this service, people have to dial their district code followed by 1077. Residents in Bengaluru need not dial the disrict code and can directly call 1071.
Commenting on the process of filing complaints and how these complaints are addressed, K Nagesh, a geologist at the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department, said, “Once the complaint is filed, the Executive Officer in charge of that particular village is given directions to examine the water problems in the village of the complainant. They then produce reports to the Panchayat Development officer to supply water to the same. One single complaint from the resident of a village is enough to demand action. It is not necessary for a large number of people to file complaints.”
Villages with private borewells nearby are connected via pipelines, while other areas receive drinking water through tankers.
Somashekhar, a statistical officer at State Emergency Operation System of Revenue Department (Disaster Management) stated that water was being supplied to 27 districts, where 1365 villages receive water through 2184 tankers. He added that for supplying water to 1256 villages, 1652 private borewells have been hired.
“We are using part of the Calamity Relief Fund for this purpose. For the implementation of this policy, we have already released Rs 2 crore for each drought-affected taluk,” he added.
According to Nagesh, the district-wise call centre facility is a temporary measure in order to combat drought problems in the state. “It is just an alternative measure which will continue to operate until rainfall increases the groundwater level,” he said.