Aaquib Chhipa, Ahmedabad: Despite touted for its development model, several villages of the state still lack piped water facility even after seven decades of Independence.
As per the data of the Jal Jeevan Mission, an initiative of Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation under Ministry of Jal Shakti, 30,478 households in 161 villages are still deprived of piped water supply in Gujarat.
Of the total 161 villages, most are in the eastern tribal belt covering the area from Sabarkantha to Chhota Udepur.
141 villages are from the five districts of Sabarkantha, Mahisagar, Chhota Udepur and Panchmahal. Chhota Udepur district has the highest number of such villages at 66 thus affecting 9,496 households in six talukas including Naswadi, Bodeli, Chhota Udepur, Pavi Jetpur and others.
42 of the 66 villages deprived of piped water supply in Chhota Udepur district are from Naswadi and Bodeli Taluka.
The second-highest number of villages with no piped water supply is in Kadana, Lunawada and Santrampur Talukas of Mahisagar district. Apart from Chhota Udepur and Mahisagar district, 51 villages of Dahod, Panchmahal and Sabarkantha district are collectively waiting for piped water supply.
Some villages in Gujarat are only partly covered by piped water supply
Rohit Chillah, a native of Moti Kishol village near Nal-Sarovar in Viramgam taluka of Ahmedabad said that several people in his villages rely on underground tanks and wells for water.
Moti Kishol village has 530 households of which 259 have tap connections.
Sometimes areas have the facility of piped water but no water supply. Youth Congress leader from Vejalpur Assembly Aejaz Khan said that some area of Maktampura and Sarkhej ward in Ahmedabad face water crisis and they have to rely on tankers and borewells.
Environment expert Mahesh Pandya said not getting piped water is only one of the several problems that people in the state face.
” In several villages, people get contaminated drinking water due to the presence of industrial effluents.”
What minister had to say about piped water supply
While speaking with Gujarat Exclusive, Water Supply Minister, Kunvarji Bavaliya said that some villages were left out of the piped water supply due to some technical reasons or defects at the time of survey when the project was initiated.
“We will modify the same in present government projects and will roll out new projects if necessary to provide water facilities to such villages,” said Bavaliya.
To read the latest news in Gujarati click here