Gamanpura cries once again for relief

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Palanpur, Dec 13 (UNI) Gamanpura is back in news once again, as two new tubewells have begun spurting water since yesterday.

The water jets have sprung in the field of Kantibhai Kalidas Patel and in Joitabhai Patel's. This time, water, which is coming forth at great force, is touching 100 feet high.

The genesis of the misfortune of Gamanpura village, 13 km from Mehsana at Behacharaji Road, began on November 23 when a tubewell began spouting water at high pressure that rose to 50 feet high. The water then began flowing continously, forcing the villagers to migrate. The whole village turned marshy as oil mixed with water began gushing from the private tubewells.

''The force has doubled in the evening to what it was in the morning,'' said Joyatabhai Patel. Earlier, it squirted to 50 feet and now it is as high as 100 feet,'' said Sarpanch Rameshbhaiu Makwana.

''None of the political party has taken the trouble to visit our village and we are grateful to the media who are inquiring about our condition,'' he said, adding, the panchayat bore which began shooting water has begun to throw out gaseous liquid, making it unfit to drink, he said. The entire village has been deserted leaving a few who could not find shelter anywhere.

''Describing the deteriorating condition, the sarpach said ''Right now, we are sitting on a dangerous volcano and it can give way as the ground beneath is vibrating. The floors in houses have developed cracks,'' he said.

''After keeping the schools closed for 20 days, we have now sent the children at two different village temples where temporary classes are being held. Normalcy is a far cry. We have received nothing but promises. It is better if the administration kills us, than give us a slow death,'' he rued.

''We have no source of livelihood. Even the cattle have been shifted to nearby villages and our daily income from our dairy has grounded to a half. It would be better if the ONGC takes our village into its possession.'' The district administration is too busy with the election and has turned a deaf ear to our pleas, he complained.

With rich deposit of natural resources, Gamanpura has 45 ONGC gas wells, where oil has been struck by the ONGC, Mehasana. Work on well No 45 continued despite the appeals from the villagers that they faced risk of contamination of drinking water tubewells.

''The tubewell that was lying sealed for past one year erupted suddenly last month, shooting strong jets of water reaching 50 feet high,'' said Sarpanch Makwana.

Gamanpura village, now deserted, has a population of of 1510.

UNI

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