Shoddy Plumbing, Dry Taps

In Sayane Budruk village, Maharashtra, villagers are going thirsty due to poor water infrastructure. In many parts of India, drinking water remains a luxury. Whether it is in urban or rural areas, water infrastructure, when existent, is often scarce and of inferior quality, as is the case in Sayane Budruk village in Maharashtra. Yet, some months ago, when plumbing work started in the village, the inhabitants thought that water would finally flow through their taps. Investments were made by the Government to improve water management at the community level. A water tank was built in order to store heavy monsoon rainfall for the year ahead. Unfortunately, a lack of monitoring the project and the greed of private contractors has seriously undermined the work quality. The water tank is being constructed with low grade cement and PVC pipes are being used instead of metal ones and are being laid on the surface of the ground instead of underground. Moreover, instead of installing new hand pumps, the old damaged ones are still in use. Because of these discrepancies the project quickly crumbled, leaving the villagers without access to water. Anand, our Community Correspondent in Maharashtra heard about this story through relatives staying in the village. When investigating, he was deeply shocked by the situation. “Before this new investment was done, there were only hand pumps in the village", he said. "These worked occasionally, and supplied a small quantity of water, but at least they were working. Now, villagers are forced to drink water from wells they had dug for their cattle!  All this happens because of a few corrupt people." Indeed, as it is often the case, the misuse of government funds affected the quality of the project. A project that could originally have improved the lives of rural communities turned out to make it worse. Anand hopes that the broadcasting of his video will spark some changes in the village, and ultimately make drinking water no more a luxury.

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