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Situation grave in Vizianagaram

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Drop by drop: Women collecting water from pits dug in the dried up river Vegavathi in Bobbili mandal in Vizianagaram district.
Drop by drop: Women collecting water from pits dug in the dried up river Vegavathi in Bobbili mandal in Vizianagaram district.

V. Chalapathi Rao

Funds sanctioned for water, but no end to the crisis

VIZIANAGARAM: The measures being taken to tackle drinking water crisis in the district seem inadequate if the protests by women carrying empty pots at Praja Patham programmes in panchayats and municipal wards are any indication.

The district administration claims that the government has sanctioned Rs. 4 crore to mitigate the problem and is ready to sanction additional funds if necessary. But the situation on the ground is different. With the groundwater depleting, particularly in Cheepurupalli, S. Kota, Kurupam and Bhogapuram mandals where it stands between 9.96 metres and 10.89 metres (against the normal of 5.73 metres), the water crisis is becoming graver day after day. Besides, many protected water supply schemes that were completed couple of years ago require pipelines, tap connections, repairs or power connections.

K. Mangamma, Sarpanch of P. Lingalavasa in Mentada mandal says that a protected water supply (PWS) scheme was sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 10 lakh two years ago, but work on it has not begun so far. At Maradam in Dattirajeru mandal, there are 12 borewells and a mini-protected water supply scheme for a population of 3,000, but Sarpanch Meesla Kalavati says women walk up to the health sub-centre for a pot of water as, barring a lone borewell, water from others is not potable. At Chamalapalli in Vepada mandal, PWS scheme, completed at a cost of Rs. 6 lakh, has not been in use for the last four years for lack of power connection.

At Mirtivalasa in Ramabhadrapuram mandal, women get water from irrigation well in agriculture field because the PWS scheme has remained ornamental for the past six years, said sarpanch Kota Venkataramana. For unknown reasons, the schemes completed at Penta, Narayanappavalasa and Mettavalasa villages in Sitanagaram mandal a year ago have not been inaugurated.

MLAs from the district have not so far proposed at least one work with the grants sanctioned under Assembly Constituency Development Fund (ACDF).

The government had issued orders on April 20 sanctioning Rs. 25 lakh out of Rs.1crore for each Assembly constituency exclusively for mitigating the drinking water problem.


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