Change font size -A A +A ++A
Amid the decision taken by central government to introduce development in the remote inaccessible areas mainly for cut short tentacles of Maoists, people in hundreds villages located in such isolated places in Naxal prone eastern Bihar districts with the onset of summer still have to migrate temporarily to other places or to walk kilometers in search of drinking waters.
Onset of summer actually turns very painful for the denizens living remote and inaccessible parts in eastern Bihar districts mainly due to acute drinking water problems. Raise of mercury has downed water levels and the sources of drinking water gradually dried up in the hinterlands of Jamui, Munger, Lakhissrai and Banka districts mainly.
Residents of Basharatola Kherkola under Dadhwa Panchayat in Chakai block of Maoists infected Jamui district don’t have any drinking water source. The tribal dominated village sharing with Jharkhand’s Deoghar district is the testimony of ideal example of governmental apathy and negligence. “We have to walk daily more than 2 km to carry drinking water from nearby Kjuria village of Deoghar district. The marriage of my sister has been deferred from this May to December next mainly due to this water problem,” narrated Sunil Marandi, a youth in the village.
There are many such stories in dozens of villages where people have to struggle hard on summer days for drinking water in the districts. “There are over more than 300 villages or localities in the most inaccessible parts in the districts in this region where people have to migrate temporarily to other places mainly for drinking water with the onset of summer,” said Kishore Jaiswal a Munger based water activists who has been also working on different water management programmes in this region.
Falling down under ground water level, dried up wells and other water sources, defunct hand pumps are some common symptoms. “We have to arrange water before going to school daily,” said students of a residential girls school at Belhar block in Banka. Many villagers inside the villages located Bhimbandh forest covers which are falling Jamui and Lakhisarai districts depicted their plights and miseries during their transition with women, children, sick family members and also with cattle in the summer.
“Falling of water level in this region is very common but even after the long years of Indian Independence, nothing could be done nor the local administration hardly have tried to address the situation,” alleged Narendar, a social activist at Lakhisarai. “We tried deep borings in such areas but failed to have water. In many occasions it is not possible to bring the big machines to such villages located atop hills which are very inaccessible,” a senior official pointed out at Banka. Another senior district official at Munger shared same experience.
Echoing the officer, Bindubhusan, executive engineer, Public health engineering department, Jamui said more than 60 places in the district mostly at Chakai block even after deep boring of 600 feet water was not available. “We already have sent proposals for more than 1500 feet deep boring. But at inaccessible places, conducting such deep boring are almost impossible,” he told.
A senior IPS officer, A K Ambedkar once who was posted as inspector general of police in Bhagalpur police zone which covers the eastern Bihar districts, shared his experience with News5Pm. “When we were fighting against rebels at the region, we had to face such classic instance of failure of system. Our enemy (read Maoists) used to project water scarcity as one of their strong points to mobilize innocent villagers against us. I personally highlighted the matter before chief minster in several high level review meetings,” Ambedkar recalled.
However, Jaiswal has strengthened the need of rain water harvesting, water shades development, focusing much on forestations and most importantly proper water managements in the region to counter water scarcities particularly falling of underground water level.
“For us receiving such complain from the villagers are very common but since we don’t have any options and also no directives from the government, we virtually have no option rather to observe mutely their plights of residents,” admitted a senior officer at Munger.