Mangaluru, Sep 18, 2018: After the deluge that DK and Udupi witnessed this monsoon season, which swelled-up the rivers. Now, the rivers seem to be drying up visibly.
Similar to the strange instances in the state of Kerala where rivers started drying, now it seems to be the turn of undivided Dakshina Kannada (DK). Apparently, the flow of water in most of the rivers is said to be decreasing when compared to last year. This sudden phenomenon has social activists, environmentalists and civilians worried about the situation of drinking water during summer.
As this region had received favourable rainfall this year, everyone seemed relaxed as it was earlier said that the district would not face any drinking water issues. However, the depletion of the water levels in the rivers now seems to be a cause for great concern.
Normally, the district receives rain from the month of June. However this year, the district got rainfall continuously since mid-April. Despite the good rainfall, the water level dipping day by day is creating a sense of panic. According to environmentalists, the existing water level is equal to the water level, which usually prevails in the month of January. This means that our water bodies are showing a deficit of three months, they observe.
As per the report of groundwater authority in DK district, the water level has indeed gone down this year when compared to last year. The department has already analysed the existing water level in most of the rivers in Dakshina Kannada district. The report says that the water level of Payaswini River in Sullia has dipped around 2.45 meter after the Jodupala landslide and deluge episode. Hence, Sullia taluk, which is also called the green belt of Dakshina Kannada district too is likely to be hit this year.
The water level in Kumaradhara and Nethravathi is not satisfactory. In Uppinangadi, even before the end of the monsoon sand beds are already being seen in the river.
"I wonder how the flow of the water lessened even after a good rainfall this year," says Lokesh, a farmer of Uppinagady, who uses Nethravathi River for irrigation purpose. Given the present condition, he feels his arecanut plantation would definitely go dry this year due to lack of water in the river.
The unscientific development works taken up by the government as well as private individuals has resulted in dire consequences like the flood, drought, landslide among others, says social activist M G Hegde.
As the Western Ghats are considered as the heart of Karnataka, it should not be touched. If we continue to wound our heart, we are threatening ourselves, he said. The government should not go ahead with any projects that destroy the Western Ghats including the Yettinahole project, he added.
“Give a break of at least five years to the Western Ghats. Let her rejuvenate," says Hegde. Many have urged the government to take steps to analyse the reason behind this phenomenon and take action that could be a disaster.