Bhopal: Acute shortage of water has triggered mass migration in rural areas of Damoh district. A large number of people have shifted to various places in search of water as the drought hit district faces one of the worst water crisis. To add to the woes, major rivers in the area have dried up due to excessive mining of stones and absence of gates in check dams.

The worst affected places are the villages of Imlidhol panchayat in Tendukheda, besides villages in Madiyadoh and Patera blocks. More than 2000 tubewells have dried up as water table has gone down in the villages. Almost 900 tubewells in villages like Harrai, Deori and Khapaa in Tendukheda janpad among others have hardly any water. Even in the city of Damoh, water is being supplied only once in a week. Former chairman of Bundelkhand Development Authority Ramkrishna Kusumaria said, "The district has many rain-fed rivers and lakes, but utter mismanagement and excessive mining have led to the water crisis. People are thirsty and forced to migrate from many places as there is no water. If this is the situation in the first week of April, one can imagine the people's plight during peak summer sxeason. The situation has worsened as "natural check dams" of stones have been demolished by the mining mafia in Sonar and Vyarma rivers. People are forced to walk 2 to 3 kms to fetch water".

 However, district collector Shriniwas Sharma denied migration and illegal mining, but admitted that water is a real problem in the area. "We are trying our best by deepening the borewells and transporting water, but the fact remains that there is crisis due to drought. Though the rivers have dried, there are deep trenches in Vyarma river and they are helpful in transporting water", he said. In Damoh city, he said, " A new pipeline is being laid and things will improve by next month."

Source: Times Of India 6 Apr 2018