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This UP village got tap water after 76 years and has not stopped celebrating

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Mirzapur (Uttar Pradesh), April 21: On a sunny day in August last year, six-year-old Shivansh for the first time splashed around in the water and experienced the joy of an unlimited fall on his body.

Nearly 76 years after Independence, people of the Lahuria Dah village in the scenic Mirzapur hills in Uttar Pradesh, received piped water supply for the first time.

The then District Magistrate Divya Mittal turned on a tap installed at the end of a maze of pipes laid by the state government.

Till now, the 1,200 people of the village were dependent on a nearby spring, which used to run dry in the summers. Paid tankers were the only means to fulfil the village’s water needs.

Kaushalendra Gupta, a resident, said, “We have been spending our entire annual budget on water. How tough the task of bringing the water supply line to Lahuria Dah could be gauged from the fact that due to a lack of proper planning, the work was stopped halfway about a decade ago. The village was also not included in Jal Jeevan Mission.”

“Before Independence, very few families would live in the village with their animals, and their requirements would be fulfilled by the spring but now with population increasing, the spring proved insufficient for our needs,” he said.

Jivanlal Yadav, another resident, recalled that they used to go to the plains to sell milk and come back with water in their containers.

“For the past 25-30 years, water started reaching through tankers and the entire budget of the village was spent on it,” he said.

Water, distribution from tankers, often led to fights between the people and caused tension.

“After a previous project of over Rs 4.87 crore could not yield results and water supply did not reach the village, we met the district magistrate and she took note of the problem. She started fresh efforts and the new project of over Rs 10 crore was sanctioned,” Gupta said.

Lahuria Dah comes under the limits of Devhar village panchayat. The local administration then sought the help of geophysicists and other technical experts of Banaras Hindu University and formed a joint team of Jal Jeevan Mission, UP Jal Nigam, Namami Gange officials and the chief development officer to find out a suitable technology for taking water supply lines to the village located on the hard rocky surface.

After this, a separate proposal for this village was sent to the government, which got approval.

Finally, tap water supply started in the village on August 31, 2023.

The only well in the village has been utilised for rainwater harvesting while an artificial dam-cum-pond has also been created for the collection of water for animals as they cannot always be fed tap water.

The lift pumps of the project sending water to the hilltop village are managed under the Jal Jeevan Mission.

Lahuria Dah, located 49 km from Mirzapur district headquarters at the Madhya Pradesh border, has a composite population of Kol, Dharkar, Yadav, Pal and Kesharwani communities. (IANS)

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