GULBARGA, May 17: The drinking water crisis in Gulbarga district has worsened and zilla panchayat officials are now supplying water to 40 villages. This situation has come about as in many villages groundwater has depleted owing to failure of rains last year and erratic power supply in rural areas. Of the 465 villages identified as problematic, 35 per cent of them are facing drinking water shortage.
Official sources said here on Thursday that the worst affected owing to depletion of groundwater were Aland and parts of Gulbarga taluk, and in the remaining taluks, erratic power supply had led to the crisis.
Of the 40 villages that are being supplied water, 26 are in Aland, eight in Gulbarga taluk, three in Jewargi, two in Chincholi and one in Chittapur taluks.
According to the groundwater-level studies conducted by the Mines and Geology Department and the zilla panchayat engineering division, the groundwater level in Aland taluk and parts of Gulbarga taluk had fallen to 600 ft. The situation is likely to worsen if there the monsoon is delayed.
In Gulbarga city
Meanwhile, the drinking water situation in Gulbarga city has also worsened with the fall in the water-level in the Saradagi barrage constructed across the Bhima. Against the total storage capacity of 0.290 tmcft, there is only 0.012 tmcft of water available. The present storage is expected to last for another 20 to 25 days.
Taking into consideration the seriousness of the situation, the district administration constituted a technical committee to visit all six barrages from Sonna to Saradagi and submit a detailed report on the availability of water in them.
Based on the report, Regional Commissioner Amlan Aditya Biswas passed an order to release water from Kallur barrage to Saradagi barrage to ensure uninterrupted supply of drinking water to Gulbarga city.
The district administration has requested the Superintendent of Police to provide security at the Kallur barrage to ensure smooth release of water.
Gescom officials have also been requested to disconnect power supply on either side of the Bhima from Kallur barrage to Saradgi barrage to prevent farmers from illegally drawing water.
The release of water is likely to begin on May 18.