Maski, in Raichur district in Northern Karnataka, is suffering from scarcity of water. Drinking water is supplied to residents once in eight days for which they have to walk five kilometers for two buckets of water.
Rajni, a resident of Maski taluk said, “There is no drinking water here. We have to get it from 5Km away. For aged people and women, it is very difficult to walk every day and bring loaded buckets”
Maski is one of the 1370 villages in 27 districts across the state where drinking water is supplied through tankers as per the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring System. Since there has been a scarcity of rain for the past 5 years in the taluk, the Krishna, Tungabhadra, and Maski rivers are on the verge of drying up. Due to this, the surrounding areas are in an acute water crisis. The situation is so bad that water meant for irrigation is used for drinking. This causes diseases like cholera and typhoid.
The Gram Panchayat has dug many bore wells in the course of the last 4 years but in most of them, the groundwater has dried out.
Ambrish Venkatesh, the head of Jila Panchayat said, “The rainfall has not been proper in 4-5 years. We are doing our best efforts to do rainwater harvesting and make people aware of it.”
The Karnataka Government has introduced district-wise call centers for 3000 taluks in the state for filing complain of water scarcity in the districts. Meanwhile, 1600 private bore wells have been dug for 1200 villages.
Vishwanath, working on the water issues in and around Karnataka, suggested proper water management as a solution. He said, “We should organize a groundwater management plan which includes drinking water as an important component. Then we must harvest all the rainwater that is possible and stored in canals. Then, it should be distributed carefully. & take care that the irrigation water does not disturb the domestic drinking water.”
People still struggle to quench their thirst in Maski as every drop of safe drinking water comes at a cost that everybody can’t afford.