KOCHI: More than 100 families from Parakkadavu and Nedumbassery panchayat, which come under Aluva and Angamaly constituencies respectively, are a harried lot and they are fed up with the callous attitude of the officials, who are yet to do anything about scarcity of potable water here. So they have come to a decision, which they believe will teach the politicians a lesson. These families are going to boycott the upcoming Assembly elections!
The Edathukara canal has gone dry and as a result the ground water table in the area has decreased. This in turn has led to a decrease in the water level in the wells.
The residents allege that the canal has gone dry because those living in the upper regions have erected barriers blocking the flow of water to the lower regions.
Petitioning the Higher ups
Even after submitting petitions highlighting their plight before the authorities, nothing concrete has been done yet. They filed yet another petition three week back but not a drop has trickled down yet!
More than 250 voters have joined hands in this protest. “It’s very sad to say that none of the elected representatives have shown any interest to resolve this problem. This is not a recent problem. It has been happening every summer for past 20 years. The authorities are not recognising our existence! This apathy has to end and we have decided to not cast our votes this time,” says Vincent Kachappilly, a resident.
What the MLA Says
The residents handed over a petition to Anwar Sadath, the sitting MLA, on May 3 seeking his help in obtaining a quick action from the officials. “I did a detailed study of the problem and I assure you that the issue will be solved before the election,” says Anwar Sadath, during his election campaign at Nedumbassery panchayat. “Steps were already taken to ensure sufficient water in Edathukara canal but it is the responsibility of the Irrigation Department to monitor whether it is being used properly by the residents,” said, Jose Thettayil, MLA, Angamaly constituency.
United For a Cause
“This is my first chance to cast vote but I am happy to refrain and be a part of this protest because every summer we face the same problem. Until last year we had been pleading to the authorities to look into this issue but this year our reaction will take a different approach,” says Amal Francis, a student.
Improper Use of Funds
Apart from this, the authorities are not using the government fund, which was allotted for the maintenance of the canal, properly. Hence, the canals are left filthy and the garbage restrict the flow of water. “The representatives are selected by the people to fulfil their needs but we haven’t received any benefits. Therefore all of us will stand united in our resolve to not cast our votes this time,” says Alphin Antony, a resident.
“I request people to caste their votes. If they give me a chance, I promise that I will ensure that water reaches those living in the lower regions. This problem will be the first one to be considered,” said V Salim (LDF candidate for Aluva constituency for 2016 Assembly election)