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Sunday, February 25 2024
Karwar

Water resources depleting in Uttara Kannada district, drought feared

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DroughtInUKKarwar: With the summer heat getting worse in the Uttara Kannada district, the various water resources are going dry and there is a severe scarcity of water. The people here are having a harrowing situation and the situation has been the same all through the years.

The scanty rains during the the last year, have further compounded the already existing drinking water woes. It rained less than 70 mm last year as against the required 180 mm.

In the areas where the scarcity of water is common every year, the wells have gone dry during the last month itself. The people in the rural areas of the district are largely dependent on the water supply from the local administration. People are forced to stand in long queues for water in the mornings or evenings. The government has declared Yellapura, Mundagoda Haliyala and Siddapura taluks of the district as drought-hit. The Bhatkal, Honnavara, Karwar and Joida taluks are reeling under similar situations now.

Already the groundwater levels in some of these taluks are critically low and there is a crop loss of lakhs of rupees in some parts of the district. The farmers are in dire straits. As a precautionary measure, the taluk administrations in the district have already sent an estimate to the government to tackle water crisis in 754 villages and sought funds for the relief measures. Some villages facing severe crisis have been given more priority in the list and preference has been sought while allotting funds. Water scarcity is expected to be severe in most of the villages in the district when compared to last year.

According to a report prepared by the officials concerned, about 754 villages under 223 gram panchayats in the district are expected to face drinking water issues. As many as 40 villages in Karwar, 61 in Ankola, 77 in Kumta,15 in Honnavar, 67 in Bhatkal, 86 in Sirsi, 46 in Siddapura, 94 in Yellapura, 112 in Haliyala, 69 in Mundagoda and 79 in Joida, are in critical zones in terms of drinking water availability. Of the proposed estimate of Rs 22.24 Crore to resolve drinking water issue in these areas, it is imperative to use Rs 12.95 Crore to dig 1024 new borewells, and clean and rejuvenate 814 existing borewells, the report states.

Last year, Rs 1.60 Crore at the rate of Rs 40 Lakh per taluk was sanctioned to tide over water crisis in the drought-hit Yellapura, Mundagoda, Haliyala and Siddapura taluks.

Earlier, water was being supplied regularly to Karwar-Ankola areas from Ankola’s Gangavali river but now it is being provided once in two days.

“The taluk administrations have been instructed to make use of the nearest water resources and the district administration has taken necessary measures to ensure drinking water for people as well as the livestock through tankers,” said Deputy Commissioner Dr. Harishkumar K.

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Srinivas Badkar

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