Woman dies in clash over drinking water in Andhra’s Srikakulam district
Local say that the water scarcity in Srikakulam is so bad that authorities were releasing drinking water through public taps once in two or three days.
An acute drinking water shortage in Andhra Pradesh claimed its first victim on Monday after a woman died in a clash over filling up water from a public tap in Srikakulam district, police said.
The deceased was identified as Tatipudi Padma (38), a resident of Palliveedhi. According to sub-inspector of police K Venkatesh, Padma was standing in a serpentine queue at a public tap for a long time to fill her pot when another woman named Podugu Gunnamma tried to jump the queue.
An angry Padma picked up an argument with Gunnamma. Another woman Teppala Sundaramma joined the issue. It soon turned into a clash and the women started attacking one another with their pots.
“In a fit of rage, Sundaramma beat up Padma with her steel pot and pushed her down on the cement road. Padma suffered serious injuries on her head and died instantly,” the police officer said.
The locals told the police that there was a severe water scarcity in the area and authorities were releasing drinking water through public taps once in two or three days.
“There has been mad rush at the public taps leading to stampedes everyday because the women are worried the water supply would be cut before their turn comes,” Venkatesh said.
The police have registered a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and detained Sundaramma.
The woman’s death came three days after Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announced a calamity relief fund with Rs 2,000 crore to help farmers overcome the impact of a severe drought.
Meanwhile, at Antipeta village of Sitanaragam block of adjacent Vizianagaram district, hundreds of women staged a dharna and blocked the state highway on Monday demanding that the authorities supply drinking water.
“There has been no drinking water supply to eleven villages in the block from Baggam Doravalasa pilot project for the last one week. We want the authorities to respond immediately and resolve this severe water shortage,” one of the agitating women told local reporters.