An eye for an eye; 'Parched' village to leave vote banks 'dry', boycotts elections

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Haryana: This village will not vote
Haryana, Oct 14: It is time for voters to decide the fate of their leaders and this village in Haryana is using its full power to send out a strong message to politicians that power is ultimately their's.

Localted 40 kilometers from Hisar, this remote village in Adampur assembly segment has unaddressed water woes since years. Running from pillar to post did not help until recently, just before the elections. The dry canal and the only source of irrigation was cleaned for garbage. Mind you, just cleaned.

As a result, the villagers have not allowed any of the candidates to enter their village for campaigning in the past two weeks. "What is the use of casting vote, politicians have been failing us for years."

Despite assurances from the administration last week, they fail to budge.

"We are getting water at `800 per tanker from Rajasthan across the border for years, as the canal supply is irregular and ground water is saline," said a villager.

The village, Budak, is the last village on this route and is just a kilometer from Rajasthan border. Relating the woes of the villagers, he further said "each family has to go at least once a week to get water tanker from the Sidmukh canal around 5km away from here in Rajasthan. Sometimes, we have to bribe policemen at the border to get the tankers into the village."

The villagers further rue that close to 6,000 acres of land have dried up as rains are irregular and water supply in the canal from the Balsamand Main Canal erratic.

The gradual delapidation of the irrigation system started when Bhajan Lal lost power 15 years ago. Villagers believe that water in the canal started receding since. "From 20 days in a month around 15 years ago, we get water now for seven days a month in the canal. That too is stolen midway. Two storage tanks were filled with garbage, though after protests the canal was cleaned by the administration recently."

The groundwater supply tto is reported to have stopped around a year ago. One said,"A large number of families have sold their cattle," added Punia. The village has two schools with nearly 400 students."

Another said,"Canal water level remains low. So, it cannot be flowed into treatment plants. Hence untreated water is supplied to the school for use in toilets."

There is no scope for drinking water unless villagers or the school fetches water from across the border.

Those fighting the elections from here are Bhajan Lal's son and HJC chief Kuldeep Bishnoi, INLD's Kulbir Singh Beniwal, Congress' Satinder Singh, and Karan Singh Ranolia of the BJP.

When the Deputy Commissioner of Hisar ML Kaushik was contacted, he said that he was aware of the situation and the state administration is taking all possible steps to supervise that. He said,"If they wish to lodge protest, they can use the NOTA (none of the above) option. We hope to pacify them."

Inside sources also suggest a tanker mafia at work in the border, which steals the canal water. He also suggests that authorities are pressurised by politicians not to take any action against them.

This village will cost political parties a major chunk of voters as in a population of over 7,000 villagers, close to 2,200 are eligible voters.

OneIndia News

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