Maharashtra: Jalna Village Women, Children Forced Into Daily Water Quest

Maharashtra: Jalna Village Women, Children Forced Into Daily Water Quest

As of April 30, 282 villages and 68 hamlets in Jalna depended on 419 tankers

PTIUpdated: Saturday, May 04, 2024, 03:22 PM IST
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Maharashtra: Jalna Village Women, Children Forced Into Daily Water Quest | ANI Photo

Women and children of a village in Jalna district in the drought-prone Marathwada region of Maharashtra spend most of their days scouring nearby areas for drinking water.

Tucked away in the interiors of Badnapur tehsil, Tapovan village, located near the Jalna-Bhorkardan road, does not have natural water sources and is dependent on water tankers every day.

According to villagers, the groundwater sources in the village have dried up in the last three months, forcing the women and children to walk at least 2 to 4 km looking for drinking water in the nearby areas and making several trips in the blistering heat daily.

Various parts of the district are facing an acute water shortage due to inadequate rainfall in the last monsoon season.

Talking to PTI, one of the villagers, Amrapali Borde, said a tanker supplies water for domestic use every day, but it has a yellowish tint and can't be used for drinking and cooking.

"The tanker empties water in the artificial tank in the village. We have to carry water back to our homes. But this water is not consumable. We fetch potable water from water sources located in fields in other villages," Borde said.

Often, owners of wells don't allow them to draw water, she said.

Nearby villages of Tapovan - Tanda, Tupewadi and Banegaon - are also dependent on water tankers.

As of April 30, 282 villages and 68 hamlets in Jalna depended on 419 tankers.

Chayabai Borde, another resident of Tapovan, said, "We walk around 2 km one way in search of drinking water. Sometimes, we make two to three trips as per requirement." And now, as schools are closed for the summer holidays, children are helping women in their water hunt, she said.

Banegaon is the nodal point for tankers to fill water for supply to Tupewadi, Dhamangaon, Tapovan, Garkheda and other areas in nearly 25 km of its periphery.

Ganesh Sasane, a tanker driver, ferries water to Tapovan from a well, which is 12 km away, every day.

"I have to wait for an hour to fill my tanker. I make at least two trips to Tapovan, which has around 400 houses," he said.

Talking to PTI, village sarpanch Jyoti Jagdale said, "There is no major water source like a river or irrigation project in the periphery of our village." She said the work for a pipeline is underway under the Jal Jeevan Mission scheme, and villagers will get some relief once it is done.

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