MYSURU: The apathy of village panchayat to repair a damaged water supply pipe has forced dalit families to collect water from a school toilet at Beemana Beedu village in Gundlupet taluk of the district.
As many as 15 dalit families who depend only on borewells have no water as three out of four borewells are defunct. Women line up with empty pots to collect water in toilets as their repeated pleas to PDO Srinivas and taluk panchayat executive officer to repair the borewells and the damaged pipeline have fallen on deaf ears.
As the water collected from toilet is dirty, the dalit families, particularly women and children laid siege to the panchayat office and locked up the staff for discrimination in providing water to the Dalit Colony.
Meanwhile, Chamrajnagar ZP CEO Marashima Murthy, along with ZP AEE Ravi Kumar, visited the village and said it is disturbing that dalits collect water from a toilet tap. Speaking to Express, Murthy said he has ordered to repair the defunct borewells and clean overhead tanks. Admitting lapses by panchayat officials over poor management of water supply, he said PDO Srinivas and bill collector has been suspended.
The waterman is warned against any discrimination, he said. When asked about dalit families allegation that they are denied clean water by the waterman and panchayat officials, he said this would be taken care of. It may be recalled that dalit families were socially boycotted and the previous Deputy Commissioner had released `5 lakh for providing basic facilities.