INDIA: Parts of Prakasam district reel under acute water shortage

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INDIA: Parts of Prakasam district reel under acute water shortage

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Parts of Prakasam district reel under acute water shortage

The Hindu February 24, 2022

By S. Murali

People travel miles for a few pots of water, many afflicted with fluorosis

There seems to be no end to the water woes of people in and around the fluoride-affected Podili town with a population of little over 50,000. People especially on the town outskirts such as Rajupalem, Katurivaripalem and Ram Nagar travel miles together for a few pots of water and manage with it for the next three to four days when they get water replenishment.

At least two to three persons in each family in Rajupalem and other localities close to Podili Nagara Panchayat in drought-prone Prakasam district suffer from fluorosis. Taking note of their plight, then Governor of undivided Andhra Pradesh Kumudben Joshi motored down to the village and ensured sanctioning of a Netherland-aided project to bring Krishna water to the village from the Nagarjunasagar project as water drawn from bore wells was found to be unfit for human consumption. Over the years, the project remained dysfunctional due to issues related to maintenance, complain a group of people at Rajupalem while waiting for the arrival of water tanker to the locality.

A majority of the people in the locality suffer from dental and skeletal fluorosis as they had unknowingly consumed ground water which had several times more than the permissible fluoride level of 1.5 PPM. After the upper riparian State of Karnataka increased the height of Almatti reservoir, they are finding it difficult to get even a few pots of safe drinking water even before the arrival of summer to meet their minimum cooking and drinking water needs, complains a woman Sujatha. People in the locality, especially the elderly, are victims of chronic kidney disease and many of them are confined to their beds.

The contractors who maintain water tankers make a kill as the authorities chalk out action plans on short-term basis to manage the tough summer months when the water shortage is acute, observes another villager Venkateswara Rao.

Storage tank proposed

A proposal to construct a summer storage tank in 100 acres at a cost of ₹1 crore gathered dust, feels Pradesh Congress official spokesman Sk. Saida. Only when the project designed to cater to the water needs of not just Podili but also neighbouring Marripudi and Konakanmitla sees the light of the day, people of the upgraded Podili Nagara Panchayat can be healthy.

Meanwhile, Rural Water Supply officials say the department is ensuring only half of the 40 litres per capita per day now as they have to manage with the available storage in the next four to five months when replenishment of water from the Nagarjunasagar project can be expected.

SOURCE: ... 080613.ece
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