Kalaburagi: Kalaburagi, or the erstwhile Gulbarga, is a city that is almost 630 kilometres north of Bengaluru, Karnataka’s capital. It became a part of Karnataka in the year 1956 through the States Reorganisation Act. Till then, it was a part of the Hyderabad State.

It is a city rooted in history. From the Sharanabasaveshwara temple to the Khwaja Banda Nawaz Dargah to the Buddha Vihar, one can see that the city is home to several religious institutions and stands testimony to its pluralistic nature.

However, when it comes to its infrastructure, the city begs a lot of improvement. Kalaburagi is an arid city that faces hot temperatures. That being the case, it is needless to say that water is one of the scarcest resources here.

The city depends on two rivers for its water needs. They are the Bheema river and the Bennethora river. Both have almost gone dry, making it all the more difficult for its citizens. While the citizens in the city sometimes depend on tankers to meet their water demands, the situation in the villages is horrendous. The villagers have absolutely no clue how to meet their water demands.

A resident of the city says, “Tankers do come to our rescue many times. But some are forced to buy a lot of drinking water bottles, empty them into buckets and use it for the purpose of bathing. Rainfall has been scanty. The situation is abysmally bad.”

Interestingly, the city’s industrial map is also poor. Due to the varying prices in tur dal, as many as 100 dal mills have shut down in the last few years because they are unable to sustain.

There were grand plans to invite more industries to Kalaburagi, but it didn’t fructify.

“During UPA 2, Mallikarjun Kharge, the sitting MP from Kalaburagi had convinced the Centre to sanction the National Investment and Manufacturing Zone in Kalaburagi. But unfortunately, another Congressman, Siddaramaiah, during his term as the CM of the state didn’t provide enough grants for the acquisition of land,” says Sivanandan, a political analyst.

As the acquisition didn’t happen, industries are a rarity here.