Day after Pandian boast, Cuttack villagers stage road blockade for drinking water

The dharna was withdrawn after the BDO and RWSS authorities assured them to address the issue within 15 days.
The villagers placed pitchers and buckets on the road to the Ekadal village and alleged they had been deprived of drinking water
The villagers placed pitchers and buckets on the road to the Ekadal village and alleged they had been deprived of drinking water Photo | Express

CUTTACK: A day after 5T chairman and BJD leader VK Pandian claimed the state government has spent crores of rupees on mega drinking water projects, residents of Ekadal village in Narasinghpur block staged a road blockade demanding drinking water in the locality.

The villagers placed pitchers and buckets on the road to the village and alleged they have been deprived of drinking water due to the apathy of local administration and the MLA. The village, with a population of around 1,000, is located atop a hillock on the bank of Mahanadi river. Locals said women of the village have to walk for around 2 km on the parched sand bed of the river to fetch drinking water from Sidhamula ghat in Nayagarh district. The village does not even have a tube well.

Though the Rural Water Supply & Sanitation(RWSS) department has laid a pipeline, the water does not reach the village as it is situated on a hillock. “Due to the persistent drinking water scarcity, people of nearby localities are refusing to marry their daughters to our sons. Though we have been repeatedly approaching our MLA Debi Prasad Mishra and Narasinghpur BDO, both are oblivious to our plight,” alleged the villagers.

Holding pitchers and buckets, the villagers had staged dharna in front of Narasinghpur block office on April 26 and threatened to for boycott the ongoing elections if their grievance was not addressed. The dharna was withdrawn after the BDO and RWSS authorities assured them to address the issue within 15 days. “But no steps were taken and we were compelled to stage the road blockade today,” said the villagers.

The blockade was withdrawn after authorities assured the villagers to solve the problem within 48 hours.

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