People say that politicians have done nothing to solve the problem

Nearly 250 people living in 50 houses at Gandhi Nagar in Pangala village, about 13 km from Udupi, are facing acute drinking water crisis.

The village is part of the Innanje Gram Panchayat in Kaup. The people here are upset that neither politicians nor officials had done anything to solve their problem for over 10 years.

Angry residents had even put up a banner threatening to boycott the Assembly elections four days ago. But according to the residents, this banner was removed by the police. The panchayat has now put up a banner highlighting the importance of voting. Though a 75,000-litre capacity overhead tank had been constructed behind the Government Higher Primary School at Gandhi Nagar seven years ago, water is not stored in it. There is another small water tank nearby with a capacity of 5,000 litres, but it has also gone dry. There is no water in the open well either.

Pushpavati Poojarti, homemaker, said she had to walk nearly half a kilometre to fetch drinking water. The water in the borewell has a yellow tinge and is said to be not good for drinking.

“We suffer during every summer. Politicians say they will solve our problems, but forget the issue once the elections are over,” she said. Sumathi, another homemaker, said she had to walk to her neighbour’s house for water.

Chandrashekhar Salian, gram panchayat secretary, said the panchayat would be arranging a tanker to provide drinking water to Gandhi Nagar in a couple of days. The panchayat planned to pump water from the nearby lake to the overhead tank, but the pipeline to link it to the source has not been laid yet, he said.

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