Tuesday, Sep 30, 2003
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By Our Staff Correspondent
The Chief Executive Officer of the zilla panchayat, R. Narayanaswamy, told The Hindu that of the 1,333 mini water supply schemes, 67 had become defunct while 1,266 were in working condition. Likewise, of the 621 piped water supply schemes, 66 had become defunct and 555 were in working condition. Nearly 1,500 borewells had stopped yielding water, he added.
He said the district was facing an unprecedented water crisis and the situation was likely to worsen if it did not rain in the next three months. Most of the water bodies in the district had dried up.
He said an action plan submitted to the Government had been approved and funds released to two subdivisions in the district to tackle the drinking water crisis. The action plan partially covered water supply schemes also.
Mr. Narayanaswamy said that of the 14,000 borewells in the district, 11,000 were in 2,300 revenue villages. Of the 1,700 borewells which had stopped yielding water, 1,200 had been revived. Nearly 70 borewells had failed to yield water even after taking up hydro-fracturing, he said.
He said the zilla panchayat was making efforts to provide water by flushing and deepening borewells. So far, 300 borewells had been rejuvenated, he added.
The district administration had sanctioned Rs. 1 crore under the Calamity Relief Fund to tackle the water crisis in the district, and the Deputy Commissioner had also promised additional funds to mitigate the problem. He said that unless people used water judiciously, the problem would worsen next summer.
About 38 farmers have committed suicide in the district since April, according to sources in the district administration.
While Arsikere has recorded the highest number of suicides with 11 cases, Alur recorded the lowest with only one case, for which compensation has already been paid.
Of the eight suicides by farmers reported from Channarayapatna taluk, compensation has been denied in two cases while two cases have been given compensation. The remaining four cases are pending disposal with the taluk committee.
Of the 11 cases reported from Arsikere taluk, four cases have been rejected while two cases have been found eligible for compensation, according to reports. Five cases are pending for hearing. Of the seven cases reported from Hassan taluk, five have been rejected and compensation has been paid in two cases.
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