PANIGHATTA (MIRIK) 27 Mar 2016 The apathy of the political leadership and local administration has left the residents of Barakothi in Mirik’s Panighatta tea estate with no other option but to fetch drinking water from a considerable distance as the water available locally is too contaminated to drink.
The situation is expected to worsen in Barakothi in the coming months unless help comes by way of summer showers to replenish the area’s main water source, which is drying up quickly. There are 133 eligible voters in Barakothi from the 44 households in total, and they want to cast all the 133 votes to that candidate who would succeed in ensuring adequate and clean drinking water supply were he to win.
Barakothi has been deprived of potable water since October 10 last year, the day when the garden was shut down by its Kolkata-based owner. And there is no sign of the garden reopening anytime soon despite several rounds of meetings. When the garden was operational, a tractor used to supply water to Barakothi by fetching it from a source downhill some 1.5km away.
|Drinking water crisis- file photo|
Anup Thapa, a government teacher with Sishu Siksha Kendra, said the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration has already sanctioned Rs16 lakh for a water project and engineers have inspected neighbouring Potong tea estate where the main source of water is located. He also informed that work is going on to connect a pipeline to the main source, which is about 20km from Barakothi. However, the locals said such assurances come only before elections and nothing changes afterwards.