A pot of water costs Rs 10 today and this is being charged to people who barely manage to earn Rs 50 or Rs 100 per day.
Karnataka is facing one of its worst summers and in the rural parts of especially the northern region in the state the situation has just been cruel. Weddings which had been fixed have been postponed and people have started migrating to places in search of drinking water.
In all there are around 3,469 villages which are facing a severe drinking water crisis and the government has been able to barely sort out the problem only at 817.
The next three months will be extremely crucial and the state is hoping that the prediction by the Met department that the monsoon will be above normal comes true. With the waters in the reservoirs depleting fast thanks to this cruel summer, the only hope will be a strong monsoon.
Making hay while the sun shines:
In smaller villages of North Karnataka, most of the weddings have been cancelled. A pot of drinking water costs Rs 10 and the water mafia is making hay while the sun shines.
There does not appear to be any regulation on curbing the water mafia or fixing a believable price for drinking water.
Many allege that the water mafia works in cahoots with the government administration. After all the mafia is drawing water out of a resource that belongs to the government.
They are free to charge what they like and there is none to stop them, the people allege. The Pranta Raitha Sangha president M Maruti says that there is no management by the government to control this mafia.
As the situation worsens the price being quoted by these people also increases, he alleges. It is impossible for people in the rural areas of North Karnataka to pay Rs 10 for a pot of water, he also says.