“Our clothes become red and dirty.There’s much iron in the water. We fall sick often.” These woes of Shephali Das echoes the daily plight of almost hundred others from her community.
Five years ago, a reservoir was built, pipeline laid and taps installed. But still, hundreds of residents of Banchukamari and surrounding villages of Coochbihar district in West Bengal are yet to get clean drinking water. Stomach problems and other illness are common amidst them as they drink water from a hand pump.
The National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) is a flagship program of the Government and a component of the Bharat Nirman with the objective of ensuring the provision of safe and adequate drinking water supply through handpumps, piped water supply etc. to all rural areas, households, and persons.But when these residents approached the concerned authorities about their waterless taps, they were made to run from pillar to post. The Panchayat(local government) blamed Public Works Department(PWD) for this, PWD said it was the responsibility of Jila (District) Parishad, the highest governing body of three tier Gram Panchayat System. Jila Parishad, in turn, claimed that they had handed over the reservoir to the concerned Panchayat. In this blame game, the common man is made the victim.
This dire situation needs immediate attention. Community Correspondent Bikash Barman urges the viewers to contact the Village Panchayat Head of Coochebhar, Kajal Dey on 9475133961 and pressurize him to find a resolution to this issue.
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