Thirsty people take to the streets in Junagadh
TNN | Mar 17, 2013, 03.31 AM IST
RAJKOT: Deafening yells of 'paani aapo, paani aapo (give us water)' rented through Junagadh on Friday as hundreds of people took to the streets and jammed roads, venting their anger at Junagadh Municipal Corporation (JMC) over its failure to provide drinking water. People from ward numbers 5, 6 and 13, which have a combined population of nearly 1.5 lakh, are suffering severe water shortage. Traffic came to a standstill on Zanjarda Road as sloganeering people blocked the roads.
Interestingly, mayor Lakhabhai Parmar also joined the protests along with other BJP leaders and local residents. JMC is ruled by the Congress. "People are going thirsty in these wards and their demand is valid. JMC officials are not taking any interest in solving the water crisis in the city," Parmar told TOI.
"The three wards have been dependent on groundwater for the last few years and residents were managing to meet their requirements on their own. These newly developing areas are not connected with the drinking water infrastructure of JMC. Due to the drought-like situation, our bore-wells have gone dry and we are running out of water," BJP councillor from ward number 13 Sanjay Koradiya said.
Councilor from ward number 5 Bharat Singhala said, "JMC assured us that they would start supplying water to our areas. They have reneged on their promise. Summer has set in and we have no choice but to sit on dharna until our demands are met."
"We have been setting up stand posts and water tanks in these areas to supply water. If required, we will set up more," JMC commissioner Dilip Rana told TOI.
The drinking water crisis is assuming alarming proportions in Saurashtra and the rising temperature is only adding to people's frustrations.