VIJAYAPURA:The city has been reeling under the most severe water crisis in two decades. The residents have not been supplied water for the last 16 days, even as the storage in the source, Almatti dam, is going down steadily. The city had experienced a similar water crisis in 1997.
The scarcity surfaced though District Minister M B Patil who is also the Water Resources Minister had assured that there would be no shortage in summer.
The 123-tmcft capacity Almatti dam now has a storage of 12.5 tmcft out of which only about 7 tmcft can be used for drinking. On Friday, the water level in the dam was 504m, which was just one metre above the dead storage level.
What is causing the scarcity was the unprecedented move of the government to release water for rabi crops.
Every year, water from the dam is released for kharif season and the rest is utilised to meet the needs of Vijayapura and surrounding districts. The government, reportedly under pressure from farmers, directed the dam authorities to release water even for rabi crops this year, which was done for the first time.
Though the government claimed that the release of water was to help the farmers, it was more of a political move, residents of the city feel. Officials Krishna Bhagya Nigam Ltd are tight lipped about water management.
An official of the Water Board said a pump developed a snag due to which the water supply is hit. “The pipes were filled with mud. The repair work is almost over and soon water supply will resume,” the official said.