Summer blues begin in Prakasam
Showry Ongole: With the drinking water schemes fail to justify huge spending by the government, parched throats welcome this summer in Prakasam...
Showry Ongole: With the drinking water schemes fail to justify huge spending by the government, parched throats welcome this summer in Prakasam district. People started depending on commercial supply of drinking water which has become a flourishing trade. The poor and neglected sections of society have been badly hit by shortage of drinking water. The scrapped water schemes have left the people in the lurch as evident by the serpentine queues for water at different places in the district. Unable to face the rising temperature and long wait involved, most of the people in underdeveloped localities have been reserving their place to get water from supply sources such as public taps and water tankers by keeping the pitchers in unending queues. Most wells and tanks, which are the chief source of drinking water in the rural belts, started drying up and some of them had already dried up.A The water level in these traditionally trusted sources depleted sending danger signals about difficult days ahead. A large section of people in remote areas of the district have been going to distant places in search of water. Lack of people's representatives at the local and panchayat levels in the absence of elections to these local bodies added to the woes of people. Leaving the administration in the hands of officials has done enormous harm. Repairs to hand pumps and other water sources were ignored for a long time. About 75 per cent of 24,000 hand pumps and 8,000 drinking water wells were lying idle. About 220 tanks depended on Nagarjuna Sagar for supply. Contrary to the claims of the government reports, depletion of water levels is a cause for concern with respect to 90 per cent of the tanks. The officials, however, express confidence that the water available in tanks would be adequate to meet the water requirements of people for another one month. The water position appears to be grim after one month. The local bodies under the rule of special officers have failed to make appropriate arrangements to meet water needs of the people during summer. Though lakhs of rupees were spent on each of the water schemes, people have been going to distant places to fetch water. The victims attribute this phenomenon ahead of summer to the unending power cuts. The situation in urban areas is equally pathetic. Those who can afford commercial supply only are getting drinking water. A The summer storage tanks in Ongole lacked sufficient levels. Officials blame it on non-supply of water from Nagarjuna Sagar canal. The local authorities have restricted water supply through taps. Water is being supplied once in four days. The localities that lacked water supply lines are unaware of timings of the tankers supplying drinking water. This is leading to stampede when water supply tankers arrive at the localities. The ground water levels suffered a blow with the mushrooming mineral water plants in Ongole. About 40 plants have been engaged in unauthorised activity of looting water sources without action by authorities for four years here.