G. Udayagiri: Even though the government is pumping in crores of rupees into water supply projects, many towns and villages have no access to safe drinking water. For example, take the case of G. Udayagiri in Gajapati district.
With no access to proper drinking water supply, life had come to a standstill for the residents in the town until they had decided to stage a road blockade Sunday to bring their plight to the notice of authorities.
While the whole State was celebrating ‘Makar Sankrathi’, the residents of the town were agitating for their basic right of drinking water.
Thousands of locals blocked the Berhampur-Parlakhemundi highway with water containers, vessels and pots. Normal life was hit and vehicular movement came to a standstill as hundreds of vehicles were left stranded on both sides of the road.
According to the locals, every household in the town was connected to a water pipeline. However, there is no water supply. None has any clue to when it would begin. Whenever the residents seek an answer, the authorities’ standard answer is, either it is low voltage or pipeline fault! The excuses have been going on for years.
“After repeated negligence by the officials concerned, we stood up and wanted to expose the irregularities of the officials concerned,” an agitating woman said.
After three hours of road blockade, the agitation was called off following the intervention of R. Udayagiri IIC Prabhakar Panda. The agitators relented after local sarpanch assured them to look into the irregularities in the supply of drinking water and take necessary steps. PNN