A betrayal

  • 14/05/2006

This year, Chandra Nagar village in Savli tehsil of Vadodara district got water from the SSP. It received water for the third year in succession. And for the third consecutive year, water did not reach the village service area as promised. The plan was: each water users' association at the service area would be supplied.

"The work in the sub-minors and field canals was incomplete. Water was pumped from the Ranoli branch canal,' says Rameshbhai Patel, chair of the association. Water was released into the branch canal once every 15 days, and it was drawn from 2 km away. The villagers are confused "Whoever wanted to lift water was allowed,' says Patel. Farmers decided on the number of waterings depending on their resources, rather than the other way round.

Reason for delay? The government delayed payments to the contractor. Originally, it was planned that the associations would construct the sub-minors and the field channels. "We did not have the resources and the technical know-how. So the government decided to construct.' And then there are complaints about work quality. "The work isn't supervised. We do not know how long the structures will last,' says Kalidas Patel, a villager.

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