Tankers are the only source of water for Khairusada-Savoi Verem locals

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By Sanjay Borkar | NT 

PONDA: The residents of Khairusada in Savoi Verem, which falls in Priol constituency, are still fully dependent on water tankers. They do not have tap connection in their houses.During a visit to the area, this correspondent learnt that all the households in the locality have plastic water tanks and barrels to store the water which they get from tanker. The locals have been facing the problem since the last several decades. They said that the government has failed to make proper water provision for them.

Two decades ago, a water tank had been constructed two hundred metre away from the locality, however it went dry after a few months.

Khairusada is around ten kilometre from Ponda town. This area though has natural springs, the government has failed to tap the spring water to cater to the drinking needs of the people.

However, a family has made an arrangement of drawing water from a spring, which is around 300 metre away from their house,   by spending their own money.  The family was compelled to take the step due to scarcity of drinking water.

Now most of the people from Khairusada fetch water from this tap. But when the spring water is less, the people have to travel to other villages to fetch water for drinking purpose. People use their vehicles to get water from distant places.

According to the women from the area, the water tanker comes to the ward in a gap of six-seven days. “We were told that the water tanker would come every alternate day. But that is not the case.  We have to wait for six-seven days for water to be supplied,” said Premavati Naik, a senior citizen.

She that due to such situation they have bought a number of barrels to store water. “However, we never use tanker water for cooking,” Naik said.

The government had set up public taps in the area. However, they never became operational as they were not connected to water pipeline. Now they are only standing as mere showpieces.

Gurudas Naik, a middle-aged man, said that initially when the tank on the hillock was commissioned, it remained operational for few months.

“This tank used to get water from another tank situated at Bhutkhamb, but it was stopped soon and the water tank went dry. Since last two decades the tank is lying without water,” Gurudas said.

He also complained that the water tanker does not come on alternate days and they have to wait for atleast six days for it. He said if the government has the will it can supply water from Bhutkhamb tank by laying a pipeline.

Gurudas has been residing in the area since 1986 and facing the water problem since then. He said they sometimes fetch water from Volvoi and other places, which are almost three kilometre from his residence.

Another middle-aged woman said that many a time they bring water from Volvoi and store it in the house. “There are around twenty five houses in the locality, but still government has overlooked our problem,” she said.

According to this woman, only their house had water connection which they got it disconnected after the tank went dry.

There is a spring in this locality known as ‘Shitall-bandli’, from where the water can be pumped and supplied to the people. But even this option has not been considered by the authority.

The villagers said that earlier they used to get water from this spring, but after outsiders started coming there for bathing, they stopped using that water for drinking.

Khairusada is a rocky area and therefore, the locals have not dug up wells. Gurudas said that some areas in Keri and Savoi Verem have bore wells, but they don’t have even a single one.

“Government should take our problems seriously and give us relief from the water problem. We do not know for how many years we will have to suffer like this,” Gurudas said.

The locals said the government should at least ensure that the water is supplied to the ward every alternate day by the tanker.