New Delhi: A village in Madhya Pradesh's Chhatarpur district is on the verge of a major health emergency with locals here compelled to drink unsafe water. Their only line of defence against bacteria and virus? Filtering the water using their clothes.
News agency ANI reported on Friday that locals in Jhamtuli have been drawing water from the only well in the area despite the fact that it is highly contaminated. A grim grey in colour, the water from the well is used for washing, cleaning as well as drinking and cooking. Left with no option, villagers say they have to walk long distances to carry the dirty water from the well to their homes. Many say that animals which were previously used to transport the water have become weak because of consuming the same water. Not surprisingly, major ceremonies like weddings have to be held elsewhere because the water is now only being used for common daily chores and consumption, and is avoided during special ceremonies.
Authorities only recently woke up to the situation prevailing here. "We drilled a deep bore and found water at the depth of 600 meters. Now we will fit a submersible pump inside it," said Ajaz Khan, Sub-Divisional Officer, Public Health and Engineering Dept, Chhatarpur. "We have also selected a point for hand pump."
India - especially its rural areas - is staring at a potential water-related emergency. According to a new early warning satellite system, major water reservoirs in the country like Indira Sagar dam in Madhya Pradesh and the Sardar Sarovar reservoir in Gujarat are shrinking. While Cape Town in South Africa recently made headlines for staring at zero-water day, scietists and environmentalists have warned that Indian cities too could stare at a massive crisis in the near future.