Dalits allege discrimination in drinking water supply

A section of Dalits from V. Kattathevanpatti near Usilampatti submitted a petition to the Collector on Monday alleging discrimination in supplying drinking water.   | Photo Credit: s_krishnamoorthy

A section of Dalits from V. Kattathevanpatti near Usilampatti here petitioned the Collector on Monday alleging discrimination by caste Hindus, who are a majority in the village, in supplying drinking water to Dalit families.

According to the petitioners, around 100 Dalit families, belonging to different sub-castes, reside in two adjacently located streets while around 300 families belonging to an intermediate caste reside in others areas of the village.

Claiming that they had been denied adequate supply of drinking water for the past one year, the petitioners alleged that the supply valves were under the control of the majority community.

M. Vairakka, a resident of the village, alleged that the issue started with the laying of pipelines across the village more than a year back for supply of the Vaigai water. “Wide pipes were installed in the streets of the caste Hindus while our streets got narrow pipes,” she said.

R. Periyakaruppi, an elderly woman, said that for the past few months, the village had been receiving water for one hour – that too mostly late in the night – once in a few days.

“We remain awake to fetch water. However, water does not reach our area since most of the water gets consumed by the caste Hindus due to increased supply there. At times, they keep the valves that regulate water to our area closed,” she said.

M. Muthumani, another petitioner, claimed that they were not allowed to fetch water from the pipes located in the area where caste Hindus resided. “If we go there, it results in quarrels since they ask us to use the pipes located in our area,” she said, adding that a petition had also been filed by Dalits in Sindupatti police station in this regard recently.

When contacted, Madurai Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao said that he had asked Usilampatti Revenue Divisional Officer to immediately visit the place and conduct an enquiry. “If the allegations are found to be true, we will take stringent action,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 8:36:36 PM |

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