Amaravati: At a time when several villages in Andhra Pradesh are facing major issues such as lack of potable water, among others, Panchayat Raj principal secretary Gopal Krishna Dwivedi has said that the state has won 13 national panchayat awards under various categories in 2021.
“Andhra Pradesh gets 13 national panchayat awards in different categories. Congratulations to the awardee districts, mandals and villages,” Dwivedi said late on Wednesday.
He said Guntur and Krishna districts won panchayat awards in the general category while Sodam, Kakinada Rural, Penukonda and Vijayawada Rural won in similar category under the intermediate or block tier category of panchayats.
At the gram panchayat level, Renimakulapalle, Peda Labudu, Gullapalli and Varkur won the awards under the general category. Tallapalem and Tada Kandriga village panchayats won under the category of thematic e-governance, while Kondepalli gram panchayat is the lone winner in the thematic marginalised sections improvement section, as per the information shared by the principal secretary.
However, despite Dwivedi’s claims, several villages in a majorly water surplus district such as West Godavari are deprived of clean drinking water, especially the villages near Bhimavaram such as Doddanapudi, Kalla and Seesali, among others.
All these village panchayats have been supplying muddy water for several years, compelling the villagers to buy water for drinking as well as cooking purposes.
Eyeing a business opportunity, many enterprising individuals have drilled bore-well water facilities to sell water to the villagers. It is a common sight to see villagers going around with 20 litre cans to buy water from several sellers.
Numerous villagers are suffering this plight, despite the district being fed by the colossal Godavari river with plenty of water.
During Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s padayatra through these villages before coming to power, people showed him the quality of water the panchayats supplied to them.
Not just water, even street lights do not work properly in these villages and complaints from the tax paying villagers are flatly disregarded by the panchayat officials.
“We have been pleading with the village panchayat secretary for more than eight months already to lay a short stretch of cement road to avoid flooding during the rainy season, but he just ignored us. Despite escalating demand, he is yet to complete the job,” said Suguna Rao from Kalla village.
Meanwhile, panchayat officials are sending village volunteers to the villages in this district to ask people to pay house tax and water bill, warning that legal action would be initiated in the event of failure to pay tax.
But the villagers contend that why should they pay taxes when they are not even being provided with potable drinking water and street lights.
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