We are so used to glamorizing our dear Belagavi city that we are feeling helpless and embarrassed to speak about one glaring problem that we are facing. Almost the entire city is facing a terrible water shortage for the past couple of months but no one is making any noise.
April has been the most difficult because the rains have given us a miss. While normally, it would have rained heavily at least three or four times in April, uprooting trees and causing electric cables to snap, this year, no part of the city has received rain that would even make the stormwater drains flow.
Worse still, every suburb is facing a water shortage. Wells have dried up in many areas. Water tankers have to be booked two days in advance. They are also telling that the wells from where they source water are also drying up. The tanker owner says his order book is full. The apartments are the worst hit. Many don’t have underground storage tanks and depend on well water for daily needs. Belagavi was tanker-free until a few years ago. Today tankers are seen zipping past the city.
It is high time we wake the administration and ask them to do something. The MLAs are in transition but the corporators must now swing into action. They were waiting to be sworn in so that they could start their ‘service to people’. That moment has come now. Take rounds of the wards and see how people are suffering. Check if the public wells and the RO plants can be turned functional again.
What will happen if the rains get delayed? The Rakaskop reservoir apparently has only a month’s supply. What that means only God knows because anyway, the city gets water once a week. So does that mean Rakaskop has four days of water supply? The corporators now have the chance to take stock of the situation and do something.
When the candidates for Assembly Elections come to your door to seek votes, ask them what is their plan for Belagavi Water. None of the candidates has any manifesto.
Even Hubli, which used to get water once in 15 days, now barely has any problem. Are we replacing Hubli in terms of this kind of accomplishment? It will be really shameful to see this city suffer for water when it has thousands of wells, open wells, lakes, ponds, and rivers, a Hidkal reservoir close by, and all promises of 24-hour water supply. Only because of a lack of proper planning, irresponsible tree felling, sucking up groundwater for massive construction, and the sheer apathy of the elected representatives towards a booming city.
Just because we don’t agitate doesn’t mean we have ignored water problems. Belagavi is used conveniently and discarded once elections are over. Solve it before our eyes start shedding this same water.