In bid to draw the attention of the district administration to their unending water woes, desperate tribals of Turkapalli village in Narayanakhed mandal offered their children for sale on Saturday.

“Take our children and give us drinking water,” was the slogan raised by the agitators who staged a rasta roko and dharna seeking drinking water. However, local police intervened and pacified the tribals by promising to take up the issue with the authorities. Similar protests were organised few days back by Damaragidda villagers in Manoor mandal. They collected thumb impressions of tribals with blood urging the administration to supply drinking water and some of them offered to donate blood for a pail of water.

These two incidents highlight the water woes of the people in Narayankhed Assembly constituency grossly neglected by respective governments since past few years. Whenever reports appear in the media, officials visit the areas and promise to solve the problem but they seldom keep their promise. The areas under Narayanakhed constituency limits had been suffering with acute water shortage since years and the villagers say no politician has made any sincere effort to address the issue. Group of women trekking kilometres with two to three pots on their head to fetch drinking water is a common scene in Narayanakhed, Kangti and Manoor mandals.

Depleting ground water table and irregular power supply have further compounded their problems and these villagers are forced to search for alternative water sources, which are at far off places.

The issue came up for discussion at a review meeting recently. MLA P. Kishta Reddy raised the issue stating that water should be supplied to the villages which are facing acute shortage. He also pointed out that release of water from Singoor reservoir to Yedupayala jatara has also led to the problem. “We have proposed to spend Rs. 2.82 crore to meet the drinking water requirements in 223 habitations . Due to deficit rainfall the number of habitations facing water shortage has increased to 223 from 108 last year. However, we are initiating measures to address the problem,” Rural Water Supply Superintendent Engineer Y. Suresh Kumar told The Hindu.