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Dry Haryana village wants to approach Rajasthan for merger

June 24, 2019 06:13 AM


Dry Haryana village wants to approach Rajasthan for merger
Summer Water Crisis Taking Ugly Shape In Parts of Hisar District
Kumar Mukesh TNN


The problem of water crisis during summers is gripping more and more parts of the country, and so is the case in at least three villages of Hisar district in Haryana, namely Kaparo, Basara and Balawas.

Before anything else, the people in these villages want the government to resolve the issue of drinking water shortage, and for this, they are resorting to just any and every way to express their anger.

Residents of Basara said they have decided to approach the Rajasthan government to seek merger of their village with the state, as they have lost all hopes from the Haryana government. This village sits along the border with Rajasthan.

For the last nearly 60 days, Balawas villagers have been on a sit-in protest. They also boycotted the recent Lok Sabha elections over the issue and have threatened to boycott even the upcoming assembly election if the problem is not resolved until then.

The people in Kaparo village went to the extent of assaulting an elected woman member of the panchayat, Rajbala, who also happens to be the wife of the village sarpanch, over the issue.

According to eyewitnesses, the villagers were holding a meeting with Rajbala over the matter. As they tried to extract an assurance for immediate resolution of the problem from her, she could not come up with one, after which the agitated villagers assaulted the woman. Although she had to go for medical treatment, she justified the complaint of the villagers and did not complain to the police.

Sarpanch Shailendra said that in 1971, the waterworks were built in the village when his grandfather was the sarpanch. Now the population has increased and there is not enough water in the village, while the tubewell water is saline. In 2017, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar had announced a second waterworks project for the village but the work has not started yet, he said.

In June last year, there was a bloody strife between the villagers of Peeranwali and neighbouring Puthi Mangal Khan of the area on the issue of water. In the violence, eight people on both sides, including the sarpanch of Dharni Peerwali Mahendra Ghorela, were injured and six motorcycles and water motors were consigned to flames.

A resident of Basara, Bhagat Ram, said their village has been facing water crisis for close to 15 years now, but successive Haryana governments have failed to take any concrete step towards resolution of the issue.

“Earlier, water was supplied to the village from Gorchhi village waterworks, but now the village has its own waterworks, but its tank is leaking. Therefore, the water stored here doesn’t last even for a week. The water in the canal is also supplied only once a week every month and that too not regularly.

“Given the grim situation, some youths of the village recently held a meeting where it was decided that they would meet Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot to request him to either adopt our village or get it merged with his state,” said Bhagat Ram.

When contacted, sarpanch of Basara village Santta Singh confirmed that a meeting was indeed convened by some youths. “The villagers are so angry that they are now taking recourse to this method get rid of the perennial problem. They wanted the panchayat to make the move, but we told them that a panchayat can’t take a decision like this which involves constitutional issues,” he added.

However, talking about the legality of demand by Basara villagers, advocate Naveen Rajli echoed the views of sarpanch, saying that constitutionally, one state’s territories cannot be merged with another in this way.

“A village of Haryana can’t be merged with Rajasthan in this fashion. For this, the parliament has to take up the matter and go through a long process to make a law for this. But if consent is given by the Rajasthan government, it would be easier for the villagers to take forward the case,” he added.

Balawas village Sarpanch Suresh Kumar said that the problem of drinking water in the village has become very serious, as water is supplied only once in four days and that too for half an hour. Due to this, the villagers have to buy water for themselves and their animals. Finding no solution coming their way, the panchayat passed a resolution to ask the district administration to sell the village panchayat land and get a waterworks project sanctioned by the government, as it would not need any money from them.

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