[ Amar Sangno ]
TEZU, Mar 10: For children at Denning Liang and Shivaji Nagar (43 miles) villages, twilight is the time to fetch drinking water from the Denning Nallah.
Sparsely populated, the two villages nestled in the foothill under Lohitpur area (10 kms off Tezu Township) have been facing scarcity of drinking water ever since the villages were established.
“Denning Nallah is the only drinking water source for both Denning Liang and Shivaji Nagar villages since many decades,” said Maniya Singh Thapa (64), a resident of Denning Liang village. Maniya said during summer and rainy seasons, the villagers face adverse conditions as the only drinking water source is polluted and contaminated by rain water.
The villages are inhabited by Nepalis, the descendents of ex- Assam Rifles and Army personnel, who have served the country. Many of their relatives have migrated to Assam and other parts of India after the 1962 Chinese aggression and only a sizeable number is left in the village.
It is said that for more than 20 households (spread sparsely) there is only one point with drinking water provision connected from the Loiliang village pipeline. The villagers have to be in queue by the morning and/or evening to collect water.
“The drinking water issue is often raised at Panchayat level but authorities are not paying attention. We don’t know why,” said Arun Limbu, another resident at Denning Liang village.
The villagers informed The Arunachal Times that they have been depending on the Denning Nallah as drinking water source. However, due to expansion of human settlement in its adjacent area, it is gradually getting polluted.
“The stream often dries up during winter and spring. It is a living hell” Limbu added.
In recent years, a water treatment plant near Shivaji Nagar and Denning Liang was reportedly commissioned for Tezu Township, but it is said that due to uphill location of villages, the connection could not be provided to them.
Local MLA Dr Mohesh Chai admitted that there is drinking water issue in the two villages. He is hopeful that the issue will be addressed soon. He further informed that Denning Nallah was contaminated due to heavy landslide at the upstream area as per the department and it may take some time to get cleaner water.
The Executive Engineer PHED and Water Supply did not respond to the messages sent by this daily for a reaction.
[ Amar Sangno ]