Water Crisis Deepens, Residents Lock Containers In This Rajasthan Village

As water is being equated to “gold” in this Rajasthan village, fights are inevitable.

Ajmer:  With temperature staying put at 45 degrees Celsius across Rajasthan, taps have run dry and large blue containers with locks fixed on them have become a common sight in this village where water is considered “gold”. There isn’t enough drinking water, and at a few places, sewage water is being supplied to homes. 

The village has been receiving water once in four days, that too for a few minutes, residents of Ajmer municipal area claim. 

“We don’t remember the last time there was water in the tap for more than five minutes,” said a villager.

However, the water can’t be consumed as it looks and smells bad, said Manju Devi, a resident.

The village has about 150 homes built on a hilly area. Residents complain that due to low water pressure, the supply doesn’t reach their homes forcing them to be dependent on water tankers that come once in two days. 

As water is being equated to gold here, fights are inevitable. After waiting for several hours, when the water tanker arrives, there is chaos as everybody wants to fill their drums before the supply runs out. 

Once the water has been stored, the villagers have to protect it. The locks are to ensure that there is no theft of the prized commodity. “There have been cases of water theft at night. Therefore, we lock the drums,” said another villager.

“Water has become more precious to us than gold and silver. We never imagined that there would be fights over water,” said a 40-year-old woman.

“The panchayat has asked us to preserve water and put locks on drums. People are fighting because of this. These things can be avoided if water is provided every two-three days,” she added.

As the summer is getting intense, several other states including Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Chhattisgarh have been reeling under water crisis.

In Shimla, a popular hill station with charming colonial architecture and breath-taking views of snow-capped Himalayan peaks, it is a struggle for residents who have been without water for about two weeks now. They are being forced to queue up with buckets on the Mall Road for the water tankers to arrive. 

Angry and tired, residents don’t want any visitors in this tourism-driven city. “Stop visiting Shimla!” the message went viral on social media last week.

(With inputs from ANI)

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