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Updated: April 3, 2013 13:46 IST

In dry Prakasam, a train ride for water

S. Murali
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People of Donakonda in Prakasam district travel by train to neighbouring Gajalakonda to fetch potable water. Photo: Kommuri Srinivas
People of Donakonda in Prakasam district travel by train to neighbouring Gajalakonda to fetch potable water. Photo: Kommuri Srinivas

For the residents of Donakonda, in Andhra Pradesh's Prakasam district, a pot of water requires a 45 minute train journey.

The mandal headquarter town with an airstrip constructed by the British to fuel fighter planes during World War II, is inteh grip of a severe water shortage. The residents of this fluoride-affected area travel by train to fetch a few vessels of water with a storage tank, constructed with Dutch help drying up.

Each family spares a person for a day to travel by the Tenali-Markapur passenger at 9 a.m. to fetch water from Gajalakonda, 17 km from here. At Gajalakonda, they are allowed to fill only a few pots each. The water-seekers from Danakonda are worried that even this might dry up if locals might raise objections when the summer peaks,

Only strong men can undertake the risky job of filling up the pots at Gajalakonda and quickly boarding the train which returns from Markapur after 45 minutes, as it stops for only a couple of minutes at both stations, says 42-year-old Mekala Venkata Subbaiah, while boarding the train from Tenali.

Missing the train means a long wait of three hours to catch the next one to return to Donakonda. “If the engine driver and the guard on duty are kind enough, we get a few more minutes for boarding the train,” adds 28-year-old Venkateswarulu before alighting from the train, where his mother with nagging knee pain is waiting for his return

Flourosis has left most residents with arthritis, kidney ailments and other health problems, says social activist Sk. Nawab.

The summer storage tank was not filled fully during the release of water from Nagarjunasagar last year, complains former sarpanch Maqbul Ahamad. People want the authorities to press into service electric motors to fill the tanks now to tide over the water crisis till the onset of the Southwest monsoon.,

The Rs. 48-lakh pilot drinking water project is not being used due to the rusted pipelines.The five wells dug here colonial times have dried up due to indiscriminate sinking of borewells. “We did not face any water shortage till the loco-shed for steam engines was functioning before diesel and electric engines replaced them'', adds Mr. Nawab, also vice-president of the Prakasam district Consumers Council.

Plight of people to get water for drinking is heart rendering. When these politicians eyes will open for these people. when these politicians will provide water for everybody. People should start a water campaign. No water no vote campaign should start all over the country. LINK THE INDIAN RIVERS to solve the problem.

from:  Dr K Natarajan
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 16:56 IST

Water problem in India is not something that has aroused one or two years back.This thing was already predicted but we never realize the value of something until we loose it or are at the verge of loosing it.Same is with water.Also our govt is sleeping .It has completely supported the actions which are responsible for depletion of water table .Poor people are suffering.We are paying for the greed of others.
I am very much inspired by this documentary film "Words on water" and wanted to share it with everybody
In a world where the use of violence has become the arbiter of all political debate, "Words on Water" is about a sustained non-violent resistance, that almost joyous defiance, which empowers the people as they struggle for their rights, yet saves them from the ultimate humiliation of violence.
www (dot) cultureunplugged (dot) com/play/5947

from:  Saavika
Posted on: Apr 4, 2013 at 10:20 IST

Nice article by The Hindu. Shame on our political system that people have to travel so long for Drinking water. Really pathetic situation

from:  Murthy
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 12:45 IST

Its not only fluorides that are contaminating groundwaters through green revolution. Uranium is also found in phosphatic fertilisers in more than 100 ppm amounts and they leach into groundwaters via this fertiliser application.When people consume this water the uranium in the water gets bound to the phophatide portion of the DNA and amplifies background radiation by 1000 times and constantly emits beta rays which mutate our genes, including the reproductive chromosomes(x and y) and we are done-contaminated to ill health and diseases incurable-intergenerational at that. Nuclear reactor pollution from Kovvada will also do the same radionuclide pollution damage. We have all a right to not being contaminated.

from:  Ramaswami Kumar
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 11:38 IST

How do you add fluorides to groundwater? By the trick of green revolution of course using phosphatic fertilisers which contains fluorides enough to contaminate the groundwaters to unpotabality.

from:  Ramaswami Kumar
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 11:23 IST

How about a pipeline to transport water? Water security is of utmost importance for Indial

from:  Ssam
Posted on: Apr 3, 2013 at 05:36 IST
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