Tuwa is the only place in Central Gujarat with a hot water spring. People in the village believe in the folklore according to which the hot spring has been there since the time of the Pandavas and was visited by Lord Ram as well. (Representational)
A neighbhourhood in Tuwa village of Panchmahals district comprising 50 families is all set to get roads, an anganwadi cenre and water facilities for the very first time in 46 years. After repeated applications, representations and memorandums by the villagers over the years, a resolution was finally passed by the zilla panchayat to end their woes.
In 1974 during the construction of the Panam dam, these 50 families, who lost their lands which submerged, were rehabilitated to Tuwa village in Panchmahals from Mahisagar.
Tuwa is the only place in Central Gujarat with a hot water spring. People in the village believe in the folklore according to which the hot spring has been there since the time of the Pandavas and was visited by Lord Ram as well. It is believed that Lord Ram had pierced the land in Tuwa with his arrow to allow hot water to spring up to cure saint Surdas bapu. The place is considered a holy place and also has a Shiv temple. However, due to the presence of the hot water spring, houses around the hot water site within a radius of 2 km have faced difficulty in getting potable water. The temperature of the hot water spring is usually recorded between 54 to 65°C and the water is alkaline in nature with high salt and minerals content, rendering the underground water around the area unsuitable for consumption or irrigation.
Till now, the families depended on water from wells from nearby villages as they did not have a potable water source within the neighbourhood.
As part of the development works to be undertaken, the neighbourhod will get its first anganwadi centre, roads to connect the otherwise disconnected village with the main road and potable water facilities.
A plot of land has already been demarcated for the construction of the anganwadi centre, work for which is slated to begin soon. A 1.5 km road will be constructed connecting the village with the main road. Water supply department officials have also visited the village and charted out a road map to provide drinking water to every household under the mini pipe water supply scheme and the Nal se Jal scheme.
Dinesh Panda, who is also a member of the Tuwa panchayat and was rehabilitated from Santrampur during the Panam dam project, has repeatedly submitted applications raising the issues with the administration. “Every time we were told that the matter will be resolved and every time it was delayed further. Earlier we would spend most of our time of the year outside for work. We returned only during monsoon when water was not much of an issue. But since the lockdown, we have been here back in the village and have been pursuing the case strongly for more than a week. Finally the Taluka development officer and the Zilla Panchayat members visited the village, held consultations with us and finally works have begun for all the projects.”
According to the officials, the delay in providing the facilities to this village was due to a phase wise development approach undertaken for the village. “We understand that there had been repeated applications but we had certain roadblocks as well. There was a legal issue regarding the plot of land which will be converted into a road. The plot was encroached upon and the matter had to be settled with the villagers. So far, the students had been going to other schools and anganwadi centres in nearby villages, but during the lockdown the need for anganwadi centres catering to a fixed and minimum group of people with effective implementation of all schemes was felt and we decided to go ahead with it,” said Gopal Patel, Vice-President, Panchmahals Zilla Panchayat.
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