SANGUEM: On October 20, 2020, Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat Goa becomes first ‘Har Ghar Jal’ State across the nation by providing tap water connection to every rural household.
He said that Goa has set an example for other States to emulate providing potable water is a national priority for the Union Government.
However, the statements are far from reality.
Villagers in this remote village in South Goa have to travel 5-10 kilometers to wash clothes and fetch drinking water.
Goemkarponn visits a village called Cavrem, only 15 km away from the Selaulim dam, which is feeding the entire South Goa. The team finds that the locals there are literally thirsting for water. Forget piped water even the water tanker supply is a distant reality.
A villagers Satyvan Velip says the scarcity of water is not only for three months but the whole year.
“It is sad that the water from Seraulim dam, which is in our own taluka, supplies water to whole of South Goa but there is no pipeline connection here,” he said.
Another villager Abhay Gaonkar says the tap water which used by Caverm Pirla villages is mostly of River Kushwati, which is storage of monsoon water.
“Khushawati river flowing from this village is available only in the monsoon and winter season, otherwise Caverm villagers are mostly depends on natural resources such well, borewell, spring etc,” he says.
Sapana Velip says that the scarcity of water has put them to major hardships.
“If we want to wash clothes, we have to travel atleast 2 km from our village. PWD water tanker comes in once in two days in morning, which is not enough,” she said.
Villagers say many representatives came but till date none have brought any solution on this water issue of the village.
“At times the situation has been such that due to shortage of water, we have to drink dirty water,” they say.
Cavrem Pirla Panchayat Secretary Alexandre Alfonso, when contacted, confirmed there was scarcity of water.
“There is shortage of water in March, April and May and local people mostly depends natural resources,” he said.
Secretary Alfonso said villagers depends mostly on spring water which is hilly area.
LIVING IN FLOOL’s PARADISE??
Notwithstanding the reality, the State government seems to be living in fool’s paradise.
It says the two districts of Goa i.e.North Goa with 1.65 lakh rural households and South Goa with 98,000rural households in 191 Gram Panchayats are fully saturated with assured piped water supply through tap connections.
To strengthen the water testing facilities, the State is in process of getting 14 water quality testing laboratories NABL accredited.
Jal Jeevan Mission mandates training 5 persons in very village especially women to be trained in using Field Test Kits, so that water can be tested in the villages.
Goa’s achievement is an example for other Statesto emulate and ensure every rural home gets tap connection and especially in these times of CoVid-19 pandemic, it is all the more imperative to have assured safe water supply within households. This silent revolution happening in rural India in terms of household tap water connections is a work in progress for a ‘New India’.
Having achieved the universal access, the State now plans for sensor-based service delivery monitoring system so as to monitor the functionality of water supply i.e. potable water in adequate quantity and of prescribed quality being provided to every rural household on regular and long-term basis.