Water crisis leads youth to migrate in search of employment

Water crisis leads youth to migrate in search of employment
Highlights

Villages including Bhadraianahalli stopped receiving water, which also led to the depletion of groundwater.

Currently, the whole village is dependent on one private water tanker of 600 litres capacity.

MYSURU: For a decade, Bhadraianahalli, a small village located near the Male Mahadeshwara Hills, has been facing a severe water shortage. This water crisis has put a hold on the agricultural activities and people, mostly youngsters, have migrated to either Tamil Nadu or Bengaluru.

Bhadraianahalli was once known for the millets it produced — little millet, foxtail millet and kodo millet. Villagers also cultivated paddy, ragi and maize, but now farming is rare and is limited to ragi and maize.

According to locals, the problem began 15 years ago after the construction of the Gundapura Dam. Villages including Bhadraianahalli stopped receiving water, which also led to the depletion of groundwater. Earlier, water was available just 100ft, but it has fallen to 800-1,000ft. Currently, the whole village is dependent on one private water tanker of 600 litres capacity.

"Because of the water crisis, agricultural activity has reduced. Youngsters are migrating to Tamil Nadu where they work as daily wagers in stone quarries earning Rs 300 per day. Some work in garment factories in Bengaluru," said Parashivamurthy, an inhabitant of Harapanahalli.

Venta Madegowda, another local, said: "The Cauvery river flows near the taluk, but there is no canal connection. There are six lakes in the vicinity, but they have all dried up, leading to depletion of groundwater. Borewells too have run dry. We do not have water for cattle too."

The situation is no different in Gundlupet and Chamarajanagar taluks. Most locals travel to Mysore to work as masons and construction labourers.

M Thirumalesh, joint director, agriculture department, had said, "We have stalked sufficient quantity of seeds and fertilizers. Since sowing has not begun yet, we cannot plan contingency measures. After the district starts receiving rain, sowing will begin. Drought situation can be assessed only if there is deficit rainfall in June. We cannot jump to conclusions."

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