Drinking water tank awaits completion

A foundation stone was laid for a much-awaited drinking water project at Bala Bhaskar Nagar by Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal, last year.

This brought cheer among the 5,000-odd families living in the hill slope area. But the contractor executing the project abruptly backtracked after raising a 5-ft high structure, dashing the hopes of the residents.

The proposed Rs. 22-lakh drinking water reservoir with a capacity to store 200 kl of water is proving to be a mirage for local residents who have been running from pillar to post to end their water woes.

The officials concerned come up with a standard reply whenever the locals meet them. They promise to call for fresh tenders but nothing apparently has materialised so far. Citing an example of what they call ‘skewed' priorities of the authorities, the residents point out that while work at the reservoir construction has come to a standstill, the pumping line sanctioned for the region is in progress. “If works are carried out simultaneously at both the projects, it makes some sense. We see no ray of hope,” says A. Ramu, Communist Party of India secretary for the division. A number of representations made by the inhabitants to the officials and people's elected representatives have failed to fructify.

In the past, things were not so bad, as the situation had been fluctuating. “But it is severe in the last fortnight. We are in the heart of the city and yet deprived of Krishna water,” says Mr. Ramu.

Vexed with the official apathy, the residents resorted to a massive padayatra in the division on May 31 last year demanding Krishna water.

“The water supplied to us through bores is murky. Once completed, this reservoir can be a boon to this area,” says Mr. Ramu.

“Politicians come and go but nothing changes at the ground level here. We have been reduced to mere vote bank”, says K. Kanthamma, a resident .

“After a hard day's work, we spend sleepless nights thanks to the erratic water supply hours of the VMC”, says A. Rajya Lakshmi, another resident.