Scorched Earth, Parched Souls: Villages Grapple With Heat And Water Scarcity

Scorched Earth, Parched Souls: Villages Grapple With Heat And Water Scarcity

In the blistering heat, with temperatures soaring to 45 degrees Celsius, villagers undertake exhausting journeys spanning several kilometers to procure drinking water.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Saturday, May 25, 2024, 07:30 AM IST
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Scorched Earth, Parched Souls: Villages Grapple With Heat And Water Scarcity | FP Photo

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The specter of water scarcity looms large over the rural regions of Madhya Pradesh, exacerbating the challenges faced by its inhabitants. In the blistering heat, with temperatures soaring to 45 degrees Celsius, villagers undertake exhausting journeys spanning several kilometers to procure drinking water. Even the youngest members of the community contribute to this effort, assisting their families in the quest for sufficient water.

However, local water sources such as hand pumps and wells have dried up, compounding the crisis. Mubeen, a young resident of Bhourasa hamlet in Vidisha district, recounts the struggle: "Villagers resort to using various means of transport, from cycles to tractors, to fetch water from the solitary hand pump. Multiple trips are necessary to collect enough water."

Yet, this plight is not confined to Bhourasa alone; numerous villages and towns throughout the region find themselves in the grip of acute water shortages. Take, for example, Banda tehsil in Sagar district, where water supply occurs only once every three to four days. Local residents must carefully ration their water usage to meet their daily needs.

Dev Kumar Yadav, a resident, notes that previously, water supply intervals stretched to eight to ten days. While there has been some improvement since water began flowing from the Pagdra dam, the situation remains dire, with the city still enduring gaps in water supply. Reports indicate that rural areas of Vidisha, Sagar, Sehore, Singrauli, Panna, Chhattarpur, Shivpuri, and Ashok Nagar are grappling with water scarcity.

Singrauli Mayor Rani Agrawal openly acknowledges the severity of the issue, citing villages like Chitrangi as examples where the Nal Jal Yojana (Water Pipeline Scheme) has failed to address the problem effectively. Residents across various districts echo similar sentiments. Bunty Yadav of Shivpuri highlights the water crisis in Tonka village, where bore wells have run dry, leaving residents without a reliable water source.

Meanwhile, Amar Singh, residing in Shahpur Koria village in Sehore district, laments the proximity of his village to Sehore city does not alleviate its water scarcity, forcing villagers to embark on long journeys in search of water to fulfill their daily needs.

The situation is equally dire in Raisen district, where social worker Dr. HB Sen reports a drastic decline in water levels, leaving farmers unable to access water even after digging bore wells up to 500 feet deep. In Bina, Sagar district, former Congress MLA Sunil Jain voices concerns over the lack of proper drinking water supply, with villagers enduring hardships to procure water amidst extreme temperatures. The water crisis gripping the rural areas paints a bleak picture, underscoring the urgent need for sustainable solutions to ensure access to clean and reliable water sources for its residents.

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