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Parched summer again for Bihar Mountain Man's village

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  11 May 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Dashrath gar (Bihar), May 10 :Bhagirath Manjhi and his neighbor Ramesh Manjhi are struggling to get drinking water for themselves and their families as the heat goes up. They are two among hundreds of dalits, the poorest of the poor, in Bihar’s famed Mountain Man’s village here.Because of official apathy and negligence, the motor pumping out drinking water, which was installed in May last year, has not been working for over two and a half months. Already, the temperature in the region is hitting 43 degrees celsius.For the villagers, it’s like a replay of the past when they had to fight for survival without drinking water. The village in Gaya district was earlier called Gahlaur but was remed, after Dasrath Manjhi became famous. A drinking water system also came in the wake of the fame.The ‘Mountain Man’ had, single-handedly, cut through a hill to make a road for his village. Working day and night, Manjhi had carved out a 360-foot-long and 30-foot-wide passage with a hammer and a chisel.Manjhi had taken up the uphill task after his wife was injured and he had to take a long detour around the hills to reach the nearest hospital.Last year Dasrath gar was in news again when Bollywood actor Aamir Khan came visiting and promised help, though not much came their way.Manjhi, who died in 2007 in his early 80s, also wanted to develop his tive village so that it had all the basic facilities - but that was a dream which remained unfulfilled in his lifetime, and later.“We are struggling. There is no facility to provide us safe drinking water,” Bhagirath son of Dashrath Manjhi told IANS.Bhagirath says the local administration does not give them adequate attention. “After the pump house was installed and the water tanks set up, we were happy that the drinking water problem would be over, but that has proved wrong,” he said.He said two of three water tanks started leaking soon after being set up and the remaining one went out of order a few months ago. Ramesh Manjhi said that during summer villagers continued to collect drinking water from far away places.”It is an unfortute fact that our village still lacks drinking water,” he said.The state government installed a pump house and water supply system last year and 32 water taps were installed across the village. Villagers said that since the beginning of last month all the taps had gone dry. The operator, deployed for the pump house, had also left without notice.District official B K Choudhary, who is responsible for overseeing the water supply system in the village, says last year the government had appointed a private agency to install the water supply system, but some work remained unfinished. Choudhary said that because of lapses, the government had banned the agency, but the matter has now landed in the court. There had been no movement since then, he said. (IANS)

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