As squabbles over the dwindling water resources intensify, people have started turning against each other in a primordial fight for claims. In one of the two bizarre incidents that came to light recently, a woman’s ears were chopped off in Kolar’s Bangarpet, Karnataka, in a fight over water with a fellow villager. Similarly, a man in Maharashtra filed a complaint with the police about the theft of 300 litres water from his roof-top tank.
In a story reported by the Times of India, the victim Indrani is a 40-year-old woman who lives in Kadarigana Koppa in the NG Hulkoor Gram panchayat. Five assailants attacked her –Yashodamma, Shashi, Basavarajappa, Santosh and Hosarayappa on returning from her cattle shed at 9:30 am on the morning of 9th May. The victim adds that the five of them caught hold of her and chopped off both of her ears with a blade.
The victim was rushed to Bethamangala Primary Health Centre for preliminary aid but was later taken to SNR hospital in Kolar where both her ears were sutured back in a minor surgical procedure. In a first-ever FIR case filed at the Bethamangala police station since its inception in 1943, the police have arrested all five of the accused.
The attack was the result of a minor dispute that began over water rations at a village cistern on 7th May. Village norms dictate that each person can procure four pots of water, and the tussle began when Indrani (victim) claimed Yashodamma (accused) took eight pots of water and continued to procure more. This was followed by Yashodamma throwing Indrani’s pots. This led to a street fight. The villagers pacified them, but no compromise was worked out. There is reportedly no scarcity of water in the village either.
The Minor Irrigation and Ground Water Development Department of Karnataka recorded an 84% decline in groundwater table this summer. This has left hundreds of borewells and tanks dry, causing an acute shortage of drinking water. Late last year, the Karnataka State government declared 156 of 176 taluks in the state as drought-hit during the Rabi-crop season.
300 Ltr Water Theft At Nashik
In the State of Maharashtra, another incident about Water has bemused the Manmad town police. A man, Vilas Ahire, filed a complaint with the police about a curious case of water theft of around 300 litres which was stolen from his roof-top tank.
The city of Manmad was under the throes of severe water scarcity, and now, reportedly after 20-22 days, water supply has returned.
Three out of six reservoirs in Nashik district have already gone dry. The State has also declared a drought in 151 Taluks of 26 districts in the state, out of which 112 Taluks experience moderate drought, and 39 Taluks experience a severe drought situation.
These stories of erratic behaviour only prove that the water crisis in the country is bigger than we care to acknowledge. While farmer suicides might not penetrate our high city walls, sinking groundwater tables have got us running helter-skelter.
In a press release on 15th May, the Indian Meteorological Department revealed that South-West monsoon is expected to set over Kerala on the 1st of June with a standard deviation of 7 days. This would mark the beginning of the rainy season over the region and will soon progress northward, rescuing the country from scorching summer temperatures.
One can only hope that with the upcoming South-West monsoon, India’s water woes will find relief.
Also read: Why Karnataka Including Bangalore Should Gear Up To Face Severe Water Crisis?
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