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In drought-hit K’taka, farmer pumps water from own well into dry river


HAVERI: A 50-year -old farmer of drought-ridden Karnataka has done what few can imagine. As riv er Varada turned bone dry, just as 50% borewells of Sanguru village in Haveri district, Bhuvaneshwar Shidlapur started pumping w ater from h is own borewell into the riv er to slake thirst of livestock and birds.

He owns 30 acre land where he grows sugarcane, maize, arecanut and vegetables.

He has three borewell. Of these, two are used for crops and the third for livestock and birds.

For centuries, Varada river, a tributary of Tungabhadra, has been primary source of water in district. With drought leaving rivers, streams and brooklets dry, Bhuvaneshwar took it upon himself to aid the parched ecosystem. In past 25 years, Bhavaneshar h as never seen a drought this severe in Haveri.

His farmland is attached to the river. Observing that livestock, birds and other animals were struggling without wa ter, he decided to release water from his borewell into the river to meet their needs. With the borewell water partially filling u p the river, a large number of birds and animals come there.

Bhuvaneshwar said the state has faced deficit rain this year and mercury level has already breached the 40-degree mark in three to four districts.

“Most waterbodies went dry in Haveri district as early as Jan. Hence, this gesture. I have enough water in the other two borewells for cultivation,” he said.

He has requested the deputy commissioner to ramp up power supply from six hours a day to 24 hours a day so that he can switch on the borewell for benefit of birds round-the-clock.

Ramanna, a villager, says Bhuvaneshwar has been serving people by releasing water into the river without any expectations. “The river water has helped livestock and birds in the village for years. Thanks to Bhavaneshwar, animals have enough drinking water,” he said.

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