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MP villagers brave crocodiles to fetch drinking water from river

The forest department has maintained that people should maintain 100 meter distance from the river.

cities Updated: Sep 05, 2017 23:58 IST
Shruti Tomar
Shruti Tomar
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Sheopur Kalan,Madhya Pradesh,crocodiles
Villagers say they do not have any other option to access potable water. (AFP File Photo)

Villagers from three villages of Sheopur Kalan district of Madhya Pradesh are braving attacks from ghariyals and crocodiles to collect drinking water from Parbati river, a tributary of Chambal river.

Everyday armed with sticks in one hand and untensil on the other, the villagers from Icchana Khedi, Malarna and Dalarna Kalan are going to the banks. First they shoo away the ghariyal with the stick and then quickly collect water.

There is palpable danger and that is why the forest department has maintained that people should maintain 100 meter distance from the river, but the people are being forced to disobey this warning.

A resident of the village Ramawtar Gurjar, 45, said, “We don’t have any option to get potable water as ground water which is left in the village in the bore is very salty.”

Women are especially affected as they are the ones who collect water from the dangerous river.

“The district administration is waiting for our death to resolve this issue. Many a times, we have to wait for hours to shoo away the ghariyal. Forest department officers asked us not to fill water from river, but we don’t have any option,” said Geeta Gurjar, 52.

Sarpanch of the village Mangilal said they were hapless as even after requesting repeatedly to officers, nobody was paying attention to them to make alternate arrangements.

Area Sub-divisional magistrate RB Shedoskar didn’t know that Parbati river passes from these village. Talking to HT over phone, Shedoskar said, “District forest officer has issued warning but that is for villages, which are located on the bank of Chambal river. I don’t know Parbati river passes along these villages.”

First Published: Sep 05, 2017 23:58 IST