Karnataka: Borewell water after 31 years and an acquisition notice | Bengaluru News – Times of India

KOPPAL: The Meti family of Kutuganahalli village in Koppal district struck water on their farmland late Sunday night — after digging around 150 failed borewells over 31years, spending lakhs of rupees. The Metis had decided to sell the 27 acres as they couldn’t find water even 600 feet below, having consulted geologists, water experts, astrologers and even black magicians!
On Sunday, 27-year-old Channakumar Meti brought in a borewell lorry for a final attempt. Water gushed out at 90 feet. “I did not inform the elders as they have been heartbroken several times in the past three decades. I told the digging agency to come at night. Once we got water, I informed my uncles. We dug another borewell too and struck water again,” he said.
The joy was shortlived. On Monday, the family received notice from the government for acquisition of the land for extension of Basapur airport. “We don’t know whether to celebrate or answer the notice. We are not interested in giving up the land now, let’s wait and watch,” said Annapurnamma, Channakumar’s 80-year-old grandmother.
“We have invested at least Rs 20 lakh on borewells so far, paying lakhs just to consult people,” said Venkanagouda, Channakumar’s uncle.
Family used many rural techniques to trace point for borewell
We have spent big money on borewells and made profits by growing corn, paddy and wheat. Imagine, if there is underground water, we could make 3-4 times the money we have invested on borewell digging,” said Venkanagouda, Channakumar’s uncle.
Asked what kept them going, Venkanagouda said, “The land is fertile and we had enough water till 1984. We had a well that was 40 feet deep and good water was available at just 10 feet during my SSLC days in 1981. As the water table started going down, the well went dry when my elder brother Basavaraj started digging a borewell in 1990. We were digging 8-10 borewells each year but in vain.”
Basavaraj also constructed a lake on half-an-acre area in 1994-95 to store rainwater but it did not work out. “We bought another piece of land 1km away and brought water from there through a pipeline. But it was a Herculean task to maintain the pipeline,” he explained. Channakumar, who has studied up to PU, said: “I started planning the digging four months ago. I used different rural techniques — coconut, neem straw, water bottle and pot method — to trace a point for the borewell.”
Ashok Meti, Venkanagouda’s brother, who graduated in agriculture, is ready to experiment with other crops. “We cultivated water melon in five acres and grow lemon too. Underground water will boost cultivation which would give us better profits,” he said.
Venkanagouda said abundant rain in 2020 may have recharged the groundwater. “There was drought and a lot of developmental activities during the past decades, resulting in depletion of underground water. Probably, rain recharged the water tables,” he said.
The family is now waiting to see if the proposed airport expansion takes away what fortune has handed them after all these years.

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Sagar Biswas

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