COIMBATORE: The hills of Anaikatty and the forests of Mulli near the Kerala border are bone dry. Past Athikadavu, the Bhavani, which just a few months back was in spate, appears like a narrow stream with the riverbed clearly visible. The Irular tribes of Anaikatty and near Mulli are most affected by the severe heat and water crisis.
“When we don’t get piped water supply, we have to travel a distance of three km and collect water in pots,” said a woman residing in Gundoor settlement in Karamadai panchayat limits. “On these days, which could be three days a week, our children don’t go to school. We don’t even have much to eat. How will our children go to school,” she questioned.
Gundoor has around 40 families. Kali and Veeran, the village headmen, said that on days when there was no piped water supply, all men and women wake up early and head to Bhavani River with their pots. “There are seven borewells, of which only one functions sporadically,” said Kali. “We cannot even think of growing crops with such an acute shortage of water,” he added.