Delhi: Even as northern and central India is facing massive drought, police in Bundelkhand and several other regions are reporting a rise in violent clashes over water.
As per a report in Hindustan Times, after almost 10 years of below-average rainfall the region’s rivers, lakes, reservoirs and wells are drying up.
It is said that due to water shortage, disputes are a common problem in many places in India.
As per the Daily, the police has said that the fighting is getting more frequent and bloody.
To quote an example, the report said that last month, in the tribal-dominated Alirajpur district of Madhya Pradesh, 13-year-old Surmada, her brother and her uncle used a neighbour’s hand-pump without permission.
This led to the owner of the pump and his son attacking the group with arrows one of which pierced Surmada’s eye and killed her.
Another example is as follows - In the village of Kanker, in Shivpuri district, an argument broke out after two motorcyclists got into an accident which caused one to spill the 15-litre (4 gallon) container of water he was carrying.
“The two later called their family members and friends and attacked each other with spears, axes and sticks,” investigating officer Jaisingh Yadav of Sathanwada police station was quoted as saying.
Fifteen people were reportedly injured in the incident, five of them women.
“There have been disputes over water in many parts of the state because of two consecutive droughts. The situation will improve with the monsoon rains,” Lal Singh Arya, Madhya Pradesh’s urban administration and development minister was quoted as saying.
“The present crisis is the fallout of over-consumption, wasteful use and inefficient water governance systems," the Daily quoted Ajay Dubey, an activist with the environmental non-governmental organisation Prayatna, based in Madhya Pradesh, as saying.
Meanwhile, in places like Bundelkhand, a growing number of people are leaving their homes and abandoning their work in hopes of finding water.