In a shocking development, more than 50,000 government schools and are running without water. The severe shortages have led to these institutions looking for alternate sources of water in the neighborhood.
As per a report in Deccan Herald, the data with the state government shows that 19,519 schools and 35,043 anganwadis are running without taps in either kitchen or toilet.
The data was presented to Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa in a recently held meeting with all district level officers. The numbers further revealed that out of a total of 42,015 government schools in Karnataka, only 22,496 have access to tap water connection and of 53,901 anganwadi, only 18,858 have access to water.
Problem much more severe
However, there have been claims that the ground picture looks much bleaker than the data shows. As per Basavraj Gurikar, vice-president, All India primary teachers federation, "In my estimation, except for 5,000-6,000 schools, the rest of the schools do not have water accessibility. I believe government data is inaccurate. We have asking to sink borewells on the school premises wherever there is space. But our requests have gone in vain. Without taps, school staff is left to arrange for water every day and they have to make do with whatever limited quantity they get."
It is to be noted that the urban and rural areas have different sets of problems when it comes to water shortage. In crowded urban areas where the anaganwadis are running in rented spaces, workers borrow water from neighboring houses.
The government now has decided to address the shortage through Jal Jeevan Mission. The government has already given approval for works to be started in 16,717 schools and 30,498 anaganwadis.
Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Principal Secretary LK Atiheeq said that the government has been taking measures to supply water to these institutions under the project. "In 5,000 schools, works have already been completed. In others, by February 15, the connection will be provided," he added.