As Chegunta goes dry, villagers block highway seeking Kalwakurthy Lift Irrigation waters

Nagarkurnool: With scorching summer in place, the people of Chegunta village of Timmajipet mandal in Nagarkurnool district are severely hit due to acute shortage of drinking water for both humans and livestock. Aggrieved over the insensitive attitude of district authorities, who had failed to fill the village pond with Kalwakurthy Lift Irrigation canal water, the villagers launched a 'Maha Dharna' protest and blocked the Mahbubnagar Srisailam highway on Monday.

It is said that the villagers of Chegunta have been repeatedly pleading with the mandal revenue officials, irrigation officials and even the higher authorities in Nagarkurnool collectorate to provide water facility for their village. The repeated requests to release water from Kalwakurthy Lift Irrigation (KLI) from the adjacent canal into the village pond for drinking purpose have fell on deaf ears.

Tired over the adamant and insensitive attitude of the officials, the villagers of Chegunta and others from surrounding villages of Midgil mandal had launched a road block where hundreds of people along with their cattle took part in the 'Vanta-Varpu' programme on the road.

"Timmajipet mandal is the worst hit mandal in Nagarkurnool where the ground water table had gone deep down to more than 30 meters. There is not a single drop of water available in ponds and more than 95 per cent borewells have gone dry. The cattle are the worst hit as they are not getting water for drinking purpose, while the public are forced to rely on tankers for drinking water. Even though the KLI canal is just adjacent to our village, the authorities have failed to fill our village pond despite our repeated requests. As we have no other option but to come on to roads and protest, we have decided to block the road and express our outrage against the authorities," said a protestor.

With hundreds of villagers from Chegunta, Velki Cherla, Gorita and others converged on main road, it created a tough time for the motorists who were stranded for more than three hours. The police intervened and cleared the traffic. "There is no grass, no water to feed our cattle. We are forced to migrate into the forest in search of food for our cattle. Before the situation goes worst, we are demanding the government to immediately take corrective steps and provide KLI water so that the cattle and humans will get drinking water," said another protestor.

Earlier, the villagers erected tents on the highway and started cooking. The villagers urged the government and the authorities concerned to at least now identify the gravity of the situation and release water from KLI so as to help protect their cattle and people from thirst during summer.

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