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Villagers lock up panchayat office

Staff Correspondent

Officials pass the blame for lapses in management of drinking water supply

CHITRADURGA: Villagers of Nayakanahatti in Challakere taluk have resorted to a new mode of protest against what they call the inefficiency of the gram panchayat in ensuring proper drinking water supply. They lock up the office of the gram panchayat and prevent the staff from working.

Hundreds of women and youths gathered in front of the panchayat office in Nayakanahatti village on Tuesday morning to protest against the failure of the panchayat in providing drinking water to the village.

They forced the staff to leave the office and locked it demanding that work on water supply schemes be expedited. The panchayat secretary and other staff stopped work and were forced to leave the office.

Drinking water is supplied to the village from two sources, Hirekere and Chikkakere tanks, which dried up a month ago. Two borewells were drilled at Chikkakere at a cost of Rs. 11.5 lakhs and the distribution system was repaired.

A special grant was released to provide water during the car festival, which was held in the town recently. Water was drawn from borewells and supplied and stored in two overhead tanks.

The tanks take around eight hours to fill and one of the tanks is in a bad condition. Even though the other tank in good condition, it has not been filled to capacity owing to the negligence of the panchayat employees, the protesters alleged.

Gram Panchayat and taluk panchayat officials blame each other for the lapse and are not bothering to attend to the needs of the people, they said.

Palaksha, chairman of the gram panchayat, said that water supply has suffered because of faults in the distribution system and the negligence of the panchayat secretary.

It may be recalled that the people of Holalkere town had protested on Monday by locking up the offices of town panchayat demanding water supply.

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