QUEPEM: The Chief Minister of Goa, Dr Pramod Sawant, has gone gaga over his government’s achievement of Har Ghar Jal, but the reality is from it. Even today, there are many villages in Goa where people struggle for every drop of water.
One such village is Gokulde in Barcem panchayat. Every year, the people of Barcem Panchayat face the problem of scarcity of water.
In summer, villagers are more dependent on natural resources to fetch water for daily consumption and household work.
In the last two years, the problem of Gokulde villagers has escalated after local panchayat, and the government have decided to pay the bills for the water connection, which is a given with the help of natural resources such as rivers and ponds.
And the local people expressed their displeasure over the imposition of tax on the water by the water supply by the local panchayats and the government. The concerned department does not bother they have just put the pipeline to the people’s houses but no water.
Now, people are suffering because people are not getting enough water also from natural resources.
They say the PWD has given connections from natural resources, which has further depleted the water table.
People have to pay water bills every month, and people are also suffering due to low-pressure insufficient tap water every day.
Not just locals but the farmers are also suffering from this and have expressed frustration over this decision where water connections were from rivers, wells or ponds.
Janu Gaokar, a Gokulde local, said that for farmers Cashew, Mango and chilli plantations are the sources of income, but they cannot cultivate due to a shortage of water in the river.
Dula Gaokar, another local, said that the village is nine kilometres away from the main road Balli and Canacona, and the biggest problem in this village has been the water problem for the last several years.
“But we are living on natural resources, the water supply pipeline of Salaulim Dam has not reached here yet and the water pipeline that is there is a natural resource, such as well, ponds, borewell, river in the village. Even though the river water supplies to the villages are not enough during the summer season. Water tankers do not reach teh villages,” he said.