MYSURU:With monsoon playing truant, people of Mandya are reeling under severe drinking water scarcity. People in 78 villages depend on water supplied through tankers.
Though Mandya district is known as the Sugar Bowl of Karnataka, the scanty rainfall and low reservoir levels have hit drinking water supply in many villages.
The delay in giving water to irrigation canals has severely depleated the underground water table. The drying up of borewells has made the matter worse forcing the zilla panchayat to depend on private borewells for drinking water in 130 villages.
The government has convened a meeting of elected representatives of Cauvery basin to decide whether to give water from KRS to canals on August 14. But the livestock are suffering due to lack of sufficient water.
However, the task force comprising zilla, taluk and village panchayats have managed to supply water to 70 villages through tankers. They have also managed to draw water from private borewells by paying them high price. They are paying `500-`800 per tanker to meet the demand in the parched districts.
Though a series of agitations were reported across the region for water, the government is keeping cards close to its chest and is releasing 10,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu in the wake of Cauvery Tribunal hearing the Karnataka’s revised petition. The notices served by the police to Raitha Sangha activists staging peaceful protest near empty tanks of Maddur for the last 30 days has also irked the farming community.
Many people are visiting Kasturi Kannada Organisation president Ramesh Gowda who has been fasting for release of water to irrigation canals for many days. He said they are into peaceful agitation and have not resorted to rail or rasta roko. But, the police wanted to derail the stir to please the government, he charged.
Water level touches 90 ft in KRS
Despite the weather being cloudy, there is no sign of heavy rain that will boost farming activities in the region. KRS was brimming at its maximum level with 124.23 tmcft of water in 2013 and 119.80 tmcft on July 29 in 2014. However, the reservoir level was 99.60 tmcft during the corresponding period last year and now it is just 90.30 tmcft. Mandya district has received just 13 mm rain as against 43.7 mm rain in 2016.