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ORPHANED STATE OF ADOPTED VILLAGE PART -2 Edu Minister’s adopted village faces water woes

July 10, 2018 05:47 AM

COURSTEY THE TRIBUNE JULY 10

ORPHANED STATE OF ADOPTED VILLAGE PART -2
Edu Minister’s adopted village faces water woes
With no sewerage network, sludge overflows into lanes
Geetanjali Gayatri

Tribune News Service

Mahendergarh, July 9

Across castes, one sentiment runs right through Nangal Sirohi village residents — while it may seem that Haryana Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma has adopted the village because the paperwork says so, the ground reality is that they have adopted the minister.
This, then, probably explains why the chronic drinking water problem has not been solved in a village where a private water supplier has stepped in to provide an erratic supply for a price.
At Rs 300 per month and a one-time non-refundable security of Rs 1,000, he caters to the 10 per cent families through his own supply network in two pockets of “Ghotu Mohalla” and “Bania Mohalla”. The minister couldn't care less about it, the villagers claim.
Retorting with typical Haryanvi sarcasm, they maintain that Sharma is a Cabinet Minister with loads of work and a lot of responsibility. “We are a small village of nearly 8,000 of which only 100 families have drinking water issues. He can’t be expected to operate at a micro level,” says Vikram Singh, a farm labourer, inviting laughter from those playing cards with him.
An ardent Sharma supporter, too, failed to defend the minister for the water crisis he and other villagers are facing. “We have raised this issue and I have personally met the minister’s brother to explain our situation. But if it hasn’t happened in four years, it won’t happen now,” claims Surender, adding that the supply comes with no guarantee , which is limited to once in three days with no fixed duration.
The minister seems to have forgotten that he ever adopted a village since he has visited it only twice in over three years, despite the fact that it falls in his Assembly constituency. With no sewerage network, the sludge of the entire village overflows into its lanes, leaving behind filth and stench. The channel being constructed to drain the water out of the village has been left incomplete.
Village sarpanch Sarita claims that the panchayat is doing its best with the funds at its disposal. “Others don’t chip in maintaining we are the minister’s adopted village and he doesn't give us our due. We are worse off than before, but pulling along with the funds that come in. The adoption has done little for us,” she says, adding that the minister did get the temple walled and gave some money for pucca lanes.
The government school has no science stream in the Education Minister's adopted village, forcing students to cycle to another school in the vicinity or go for private schools. The dirty village water flows into private land damaging crops, and the pond needs a retaining wall. Hawa Singh, the sarpanch's husband, minces no words in criticising the minister.
The villagers are awaiting the next elections. They know Sharma will certainly come visiting to seek vote

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