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Water scarcity hits tribal panchayat hard

G. Nagaraja
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Residents' plea to authorities for restoration of handbores has gone unheeded

PRECIOUS: Children quenching their thirst at Geddapalli in West Godavari district. — Photo: A.V.G. Prasad
PRECIOUS: Children quenching their thirst at Geddapalli in West Godavari district. — Photo: A.V.G. Prasad

It is a saga of trauma and suffering for members of the primitive Kondreddy tribe in this remote gram panchayat in the Agency of West Godavari district to quench their thirst. Rain or shine, there is no let-up in their struggle.

The habitations falling under this gram panchayat are Geddapalli, Ginnepalli, Talngellakonda, Cheemaluru, Chilakaluru, and Dharvada. Defunct handbores greet visitors in all these habitations.

According to village sarpanch Musala Reddy, as many as nine handbores have gone defunct in these habitations and petitions for their restoration have been hanging fire with the Integrated Tribal Development Authority (ITDA) office at Kota Ramachandrapuram for several months. “Our MLA Tellam Bala Raju has also complained to the ITDA authorities about the problem on our behalf. But it also failed to have any impact on the ITDA officials,” laments Musala Reddy.

All the habitations are dependent on handbores for drinking water. Safe drinking water is obviously out of their reach.

A water tank with a storage capacity of 2,000 litres has been built at Geddapalli to provide safe drinking water to all the residents of the village. It remains idle for a long time for want of a borewell. The proposal for digging a borewell for pumping water into the tank for filtration and supply to the inhabitants is pending with the ITDA authorities.

No response

At Ginnepalli, only one out of two handbores is presently working. The villagers have submitted a memorandum to the Project Officer, ITDA, for another handbore some two years ago.

There is no tangible result yet. “How could a single handbore meet the requirements of the entire village,” questions Kondla Gangaratnam, a resident.

“We need at least 12 pots of water for our four-member family everyday. I failed to get even half the quantity even after prolonged waits, foregoing the field work,” she rues. Chadala Chandramma, another woman, has complained that they get muddy water from the handbore after 15 pots which is unfit for human consumption.

The only one handbore becomes a single drinking water source for the entire habitation with 400 people.


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