BERHAMPUR: Women of Dekapanga village in Mohana block of Gajapati district on Wednesday. locked the panchayat office to protest erratic supply of piped water. The village, inhabited by over 200 families, has two tubewells. This apart piped water is also supplied to houses in the village under Basudha Yojana. However, while the tubewells have not been functioning for the last three months, supply of piped water has been erratic.
Sources said the village has not been supplied piped water for the last one week and the women have no option but to walk over two km to fetch water for their families’ daily needs. After their pleas to authorities concerned went unheeded, the women locked the panchayat office. Sarpanch Babuli Patamajhi rushed to the office and tried to convince the women to call off their agitation. When the women did not relent, Patamajhi called up other officials to come to his aid but none responded.
Late in the evening, an assistant engineer of RWSS department reached the village and repaired one tubewell but it did not function. This infuriated the women who refused to let the panchayat office function.
As the stalemate continued, Mohana block chairman Ranjib Sabar and some RWSS department officials reached the village and assured the women to make an alternate arrangement soon. They also sought time to come up with a permanent solution to the issue. Following the officials’ assurance, the women opened the panchayat office but threatened to resort to agitation again if the situation does not change.