(NEWS) Parched Bundelkhand thirsty for water : NDTV

(NEWS) Parched Bundelkhand thirsty for water : NDTV
Rubina Khan

http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/fullimage/ver1/w/waterwoes5.jpgBundelkhand, an area that straddles two states in the heart of India, is parched and desperately praying for rain.

It's again drought time and there is no water in the wells and ponds. Every year the shortage of water gets more and more acute.

Bundelkhand historically had a number of ponds and lakes and every village had at least one working well.

But since 1990, official statistics show the water table dropping by almost two feet every year and it cannot get any worse than this.

For four years in a row, the women of Pathapur have been walking kilometers as they trudge in search of water.

This year, the walk got even longer. The nearest hand pump is now nine kilometers away.

''We walk nine to ten km, four times a day to fetch water,'' said Samantrani, resident, Pathapur village.

Mahendra Sagar, a lake spread over 350 acres, was once the lifeline of Tikamgarh district - and the water source for a lakh and a half people.

For the first time in 88 years it is bone dry.

Fifty per cent of hand pumps in Bundelkhand now yield little or nothing and water is preceding roti, kapda and makaan.

''The underground water table has receded very fast. There are many areas where there is not even a single drop of water,'' said Uma Kant Umrao, Collector Chattarpur.

Nearly 250 villages in Bundelkhand are without a drop, in their ponds, wells or pumps.

People in Bundelkhand now know the value of every drop but it seems to be too late to realize the situation. For the moment, their only hope is the monsoon. 

Courtesy: NDTV News