Andhra Pradesh

Water scarcity adds to the summer woes in Maddalur

Women wait to fetch water from the Musi riverbed at Maddalur in Prakasam district.

Women wait to fetch water from the Musi riverbed at Maddalur in Prakasam district.  

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Drought for fifth consecutive year grips this village in Prakasam district

Unmindful of the scorching summer heat, scores of women from the Musi riverbed village of Maddalur travel long distance every day to buy a few pots of water.

Swatchh Bharat mission goals go up for a toss in the village where the individual sanitary latrines remain in disuse with people continuing their old ways of relieving themselves in the open fields.

The village till a decade ago was a fertile one with farmers growing intensive crops, including paddy, thrice in a year.

Just by digging a feet on the river-bed they used to get quality drinking water. Now they are struggling to get safe drinking water and do our daily chores like bathing and washing.

“It was we who had persuaded our men to construct toilets. Now we are in a highly embarrassing position as we have to attend the nature’s call in the open at dawn or wait till dusk,” says a group of women travelling long distance to manage a pot of water by paying ₹5 each from Anakarlapudi, which got water replenishment from the river Krishna. Many in the village could not afford to buy water, they add. Highlighting their water woes, an elderman Y.V. Krishna Rao says the problem is very severe this year in view of drought for the fifth consecutive year. Indiscriminate mining of sand is also responsible for the riverbed losing water-holding capacity, he laments.

“'Most of the borewells in the village have gone dry. Water from rest of the borewell is unfit for consumption in view of high fluoride content,” laments 60-year-old Chenchaiah. “Even this water is supplied once in three days or so forcing us to skip bathing,” he adds.

Pleas go unheeded

Repeated pleas to the authorities concerned had fallen on deaf ears, a 60-year-old woman P. Vimalavathi laments.

“Now they are citing the model code of conduct for political parties in force in view of the elections for not addressing the problem,” she adds while demanding extension of the Nagarjunsagar Right Bank canal network, which was just 11 km away from her village, through which the pipeline carrying Krishna water from the Ramatheertham reservoir to Kandukur town passes through. Alternatively, they suggest making available water through another pipeline going to Kondepi to resolve their drinking water problem on a permanent basis.

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Printable version | Dec 11, 2019 12:28:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/water-scarcity-adds-to-the-summer-woes-in-maddalur/article27177514.ece

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