Nashik: The Zilla Parishad has cut off water supply from Girna dam to 56 villages including Nandgaon due to outstanding water dues, creating water crisis in these villages in the current winter season. Contaminated water from wells and ponds is being used for drinking, which is causing various diseases to the villagers.
The negligence of gram panchayat and panchayat samiti administration is understood to be the reason behind non-collection and payment of water cess. But even the villagers who pay taxes have to be deprived of water due to the fault of the local administration.
“The government should take this seriously and start water supply under the 56-village scheme immediately, otherwise Rasta Roko agitation will taken out with thousands of villagers,” warned former ZP president Madhukar Hiray.
Zilla Parishad has cut off water supply from Girna dam to 56 villages effective January 11 due to non payment of pending water arrears. This has created an unprecedented shortage of drinking water in 39 villages of Malegaon taluka including Nimgaon and 18 villages of Nandgaon taluka.
It is understood that poor villagers are suffering from various diseases as they use water from wells and lakes for drinking. Therefore, fear of unwanted incidents due to contaminated water is being expressed. The 56-village water supply scheme implemented in 1998 from British’s financial assistance is providing water to 18 villages including Nandgaon city and 39 villages in Malegaon taluka.
A BDO level officer was also appointed to recover the water bill. However, Hiray has alleged that due to the negligence of this department, the water bill arrears have increased. “Why the Chief Executive Officer of Zilla Parishad did not take action against the gram panchayat and panchayat samiti administration officers who were responsible for the recovery?” alleges Hiray and said that it is the sheer responsibility of the government to the recover dues. Due to non-availability of drinking water for 11 days, women, children and the elderly have been wandering for water, he said.
Drinking water is being be bought in jars and bottles. Due to lack of financial resources, poor villagers are fetching water from wells and lakes for drinking. Therefore, the water supply of the 56-village scheme should be started immediately, otherwise the Rasta roko agitation will be resorted, Hiray has warned at the end of the statement.
‘Ministers should pay attention’
The Zilla Parishad has cut off water supply to 56 villages from Girna dam citing arrears, which has led to severe water shortage for the villages. The negligence of the recovery authorities is also affecting the regulate tax payers.
- Madhukar Hiray