Odishatv Bureau

Cuttack/Deogarh: Villagers at Lalitgiri in Mahanga Tehsil of Cuttack district staged a road blockade and burnt effigy of Health and Family Welfare Minister Pratap Jena protesting water scarcity in the area today.

The villagers alleged that despite sanction of money from MP Baijayant Jay Panda's MPLAD fund for construction of bore wells, the work has not been undertaken due to intervention of Jena.

The locals burnt the effigies of Jena and threatened to intensify their protest if the issue is not resolved soon.

"We had staged an agitation on the issue in the same month last year, Rs 2.5 lakh had been sanctioned from MPLAD fund. When we visited various offices including Block office over the issue the officials there said that MLA Pratap Jena has instructed not to take over any work at Harijan Sahi," said an agitating local, Sushant Jena.

Similarly in Deogarh district, women staged dharna in front of Palsama panchayat office today alleging misuse of water. ‘’While piped drinking water facility had been installed in the panchayat two years back, some persons misuse water by installing a water pump at the main pipeline. As a result, many houses in the panchayat do not get piped water,’’ an agitating woman said.

On the other hand, borewells in the panchayat are also not able to provide sufficient water. The women have threatened to lock the panchayat office if the issue is not resolved at the earliest.

An agitating woman, Bharati Behera, said, "We don't have water in our locality, there are no borewells, we have only one pipe which is also not functioning. We have to walk nearly a kilometre to fetch water. We had told the Sarpanch about it but no borewell was provided."

However, Sarpanch Damyanti Pradhan said, "I have joined two months back so I am unaware about the issue. I will try to solve the issues within 2-4 days."

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