Already spelling hardship to its residents,the acute water crisis in Jetpur and Devaliya villages in Tilakwada taluka of the district has brought the additional problem of finding brides for the youths there.
Owing to the acute water crisis in Devaliya and Jetpur villages,parents are refusing to marry off their daughters to the youths there.
Despite being only about 30 kms away from the ambitious Sardar Sarovar dam project on the Narmada river,women from these villages have to walk miles everyday to fetch water.
“Over the past few years,parents have been refusing to marry off their daughters to the youths from these villages due to the non-availability of permanent drinking water facility in the village”,Harish Vasava,a member of Narmada District Panchayat said.
Around 3,000 people reside in Devaliya and Jetpur villages,Vasava said.
Nafisa Banu from Jetpur village said,”Search for brides for youths here is a problem. The underground water is undrinkable due to salinity ingress”.
Former Congress MLA and vice-president of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) P D Vasava said,residents of these villages have been facing this problem since the past several years,due to which the eligible bachelors find it difficult
to get brides.
Sarpanch of Devaliya village Neeta Bhil said,”The water problem is very acute,which has led to health hazards for the residents”
Harish Vasava claimed that even though water from Narmada is being supplied to north Gujarat,Saurashtra,Kutch and Rajasthan after the construction of the dam on the river,people in these villages still face water crisis.
“The villagers’ dream of getting water from Narmada after the construction of Sardar Sarovar dam has not been realised”,he asserted.
The hand pumps installed in these villages,do not meet their requirements as they get from them fluoride-mixed water which cannot be consumed,he added.
“Despite the issue being brought before the state government,no steps have been taken to provide them pure and safe drinking water so far”,Vasava said.
He said that the issue has been brought to the notice of Ahmed Patel,political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat.
“Water is very precious for us,as we have to walk several kilometres every day to carry buckets of water and spend an entire day on it”,Sahida Banu,a resident of Devaliya village said.
“We are not in a position to offer drinking water to the guests visiting our house,instead we offer them a bottle of cold drink”,she added.