Not a drop of Cauvery for people on its banks
Published: 23rd May 2013 08:27 AM |
They depend on borewells for drinking water and recycled waste from Bangalore for their fields. And yet, they are just a stone’s throw away from the banks of river Cauvery.
All the water in the flowing river is reserved to feed the thirst of the burgeoning IT city that is estimated to generate 60 per cent of Karnataka’s gross state domestic product. And all that the villagers are left with is a sense of anguish that there is no one to cater to their needs.
“BWSSB pipelines are laid as close as 1.5 km from our village. The water is being pumped for 80 km to Bangalore, but we do not have access to it. What crime have we committed not to get this water?’’ asks Anupama of Nargarsekote, a village near Sathanur.
On a fact-finding trip to see how Bangalore gets its water, Express found that villages surrounding Kollegal, Malavalli, Kanakpura and Anekal, right up to the Tamil Nadu border (near Biligundlu) are dependent on borewell water for drinking. “For us, Cauvery should not only be a source of drinking water, but also a source for our fields, as we are on her banks. But we do not have access to the river. We are completely dependent on rains for agriculture and on borewells for drinking water,’’ says B Basavaraju of Saraddinadoddi, a village bordering Kanakapura taluk and Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu.
A lake close to Basavaraju’s house at Dadiganadoddi in Krishnagiri is the source of water for villagers. However, it dried up three months ago. “Successive governments promised us Cauvery water connections, but they have failed us. I spent over Rs 45,000 this year on banana crop, but I could hardly manage to get Rs 5,000 as returns. The crops dried up with no rain and no irrigation,’’ he rues.
Pointing to neighbouring Tamil Nadu villages, Basavaraju says: “We get power for only three hours, but there in TN (villages 200 metres away from his house), the power cut is only for three hours.’’ His wife chimes in: “All day, we keep waiting to pump water.’’
Drinking water is a major concern for these villagers, while standing crops have withered, and lakes and ponds have dried up. The situation is the same in Bandedoddi, Valtipura, Thandya, Hunasanahalli, Hebbani and Hosahalli, spread over Kanakapura, Malavalli and Kollegal.
Still, a little ahead from Kanakapura towards Malavalli, some patches of land are cultivated near Mulhalli, ahead of the monsoon. Here, waste water from Bangalore, recycled at Harohalli plant, is supplied to villages for agriculture.