Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Irked over acute drinking water shortage in their area, villagers of Danguapalli under Bhanjanagar block in Ganjam district have threatened to boycott the upcoming 2024 General Election.

Though there is a solar water supply project in the village, it has been allegedly lying defunct for the last five years. A board has also been put up in the area stating that water is being supplied through Basudha Yojana. However, the residents are grappling with severe water crisis. Sans any kind of drinking water facilities in the area, women are forced to fetch water from a well that is located miles away from the village. The iron-filled water of the tube well in the village is not in usable condition.

Under such circumstances, the villagers have threatened to boycott the polling process if their problems are not resolved at the earliest.

“Our villagers have decided not to exercise their franchises in the upcoming election if the drinking water issue in the village is not resolved. We have been facing acute drinking water crisis for the last seven years and are forced to travel miles to fetch water,” said Manju Naik, a villager.

Acute drinking water crisis in Ganjam villageAcute drinking water crisis in Ganjam village

“The tube well in our village is of no use. We don’t have any source of drinking water in our village. The wells and ponds in the village dry up in summer and we face severe problems during this period,” said Amulya Nayak, another villager.

As per the allegation by the villagers, the political leaders only visit their area during the time of election and give many false promises. However, they forget all of their promises as soon as the election is finished.

“Even people of our area are getting affected by many kinds of diseases by using contaminated water from ponds and wells. Though we have requested the administration to provide proper drinking water facilities in our area several times, our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Now, we have no alternative but to boycott the upcoming election,” said Manjula Naik, another villager.

Comments of the concerned officials of the district administration could not be obtained over the allegations of the villagers.