When will tribals get rightful water?

Katruwangan Pada of Igatpuri fighting to get even a sip of clean drinking water
When will tribals get rightful water?

NASHIK: At present, Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, a festival of independence, is underway in the country. The country has entered its 75th year of independence. Along with the country, India and Maharashtra state also has reached the peak of development.

Nashik district is no exception. However, the situation in Igatpuri taluka is somewhat different. With an average rainfall of 3,300 mm, this taluka is still thirsty. Kathruwangan Pada is just two to three kilometres from Igatpuri, and the Mumbai-Agra highway is just a short distance away.

On the one hand, Igatpuri Municipal Council is running the 24-hour water from the Bhavali Dam scheme in Igatpuri with great pomp. On the other hand, Kathruwangan Pada in Igatpuri tribal taluka has a different problem.

The tribal brothers have not been able to get even a drop of water to quench their thirst. The situation is that the people here have to drink water from the tank in which rats and snakes were found dead.

This pada falls within the limits of the Igatpuri Municipal Council. This pada was included in the Municipal Council about 27 years ago. But the situation never improved.

There are a total of 45 houses in this pada in which about 200 people live. Under the name of water supply, the Municipal Council provided two tap connections seven years ago. This water is stored in an old tank nearby. According to tribals, water is supplied for a maximum of 20 minutes once a fortnight and even that is not being supplied regularly from the last three months. For the past few days, water was being released from a well in Talegaon, but the water supplied was muddy, with dead rats, dead snakes and hairs too in the tank, said the villagers.

Residents reported the incident to the corporators, officers and staff of the city council and the MLAs, but no action was taken. At present, the women of Pada are risking their lives by crossing the 2 km railway line, fetching water from the natural source in a railway tunnel as well as from wastewater percolating from the hotels uphill along the alternative highway. The tribals here have demanded that the administration should pay attention. The administration has been asked to end the hardships forever. Otherwise, the tribals have warned to start an agitation.

"Currently, we fetch water from the culvert. This water seeps in and out of the hotel adjacent to the highway. This water we use for drinking. The Municipal Council has constructed a tank in the padas. A tap connection is provided, but water comes only once a month. It contains dirt. When the tank was opened a few days ago, a dead snake was found in it. We drank such water." - Kalyani Bhalange, local woman

"Paddy has not been supplied water for the last 25 days. Despite making statements from time to time, Igatpuri Municipal Council has not taken any action. The situation here has been reported to the officials, employees and corporators of the Municipal Council, but no one is ready to take responsibility. We have to go through such a dire situation." - Anil Bhoir, local

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