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1-min read

Untimely Aid From Centre & Lengthy Polls: Here's Why Bidar's Villagers Are Scrambling For Water

In the video, men and women are seen crowding around the well, which doesn't have a wall, while two men stand inside its knee-length waters helping the villagers fill their pots.

Revathi Rajeevan | CNN-News18

Updated:May 7, 2019, 12:00 AM IST
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Bengaluru: A video of hundreds of villagers drawing water from a single well has shone the spotlight on drought-hit Bidar this election season. Villagers of Chimmegaon in Aurad taluk of Bidar district are seen drawing water, using pots tied to long ropes, simultaneously from one well.

In the video, men and women are seen crowding around the well, which doesn't have a wall, while two men stand inside its knee-length waters helping the villagers fill their pots.

"We are supplying water for them in tankers. There is no water in the wells. Wherever there is water scarcity, we are digging borewells or connecting them to existing private borewells. In other places, we are supplying through tankers," M Chandrashekar, tahsildar of Aurad taluk told CNN News18.

There are 60 houses in the village, which has a population of 800 people.

"I have told them (officials) that at no cost should the government get a bad name. However, with the model code of conduct in place, we are unable to do much. The code of conduct has been in place for so long that it is impeding our work," said district in-charge minister Bandeppa Kashempur.

156 out of 176 taluks were declared as drought-hit by the state government ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. A day before the model code of conduct kicked in on March 10, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy even met Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking funds under National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) towards drought mitigation.

Alleging that the Centre has not released funds on time, the state government on Saturday released Rs 649.73 crore under MGNREGA.

"Karnataka state is reeling under severe drought and MNREGA is the best programme to prevent people from migrating", a statement from Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's office read.

The Rabi season this year only received 96 mm rainfall as opposed to the average - 188 mm. North interior Karnataka was one of the worst-hit areas and is reeling from a 66 per cent deficit in rainfall. Of the 156 drought-hit taluks, 107 have been severely affected and 49 were moderately affected.

The total crop loss during the Rabi season has amounted to Rs 11,384.47 crore. Crop loss during Khariff and Rabi altogether amounted to Rs 32,335 crore, according to the state government's records.

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