Residents of Sidivalasa, a hilltop village in Peddakota panchayat of Ananthagiri mandal in ASR district, have been grappling with a severe water crisis for the past three years. Despite government authorities initiating borewell drilling work in the village, the project remains incomplete, leaving the 110 residents, belonging to 25 families, without access to clean water.
With no alternative source nearby, villagers are forced to trek two kilometers to a pond for water, which is also frequented by cattle. Consequently, many villagers have fallen ill from drinking this contaminated water, with some requiring medical attention at the nearest primary health center, located 20 kilometers away. In dire situations, seriously ill individuals have to be carried in a makeshift platform called a “doli” by fellow villagers.
Compounding the issue, during summers, the polluted pond water evaporates, exacerbating the villagers’ plight. Moreover, Sidivalasa is inhabited by Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs), further underscoring the urgency of the situation.
Despite repeated appeals to government officials and public representatives, including the district collector and the project officer of ITDA PO, the villagers have yet to receive a resolution to their water woes. In an act of desperation, the women of Sidivalasa recently conducted a special puja at the half-finished borewell, hoping for a breakthrough.
Gemmila Chilakamma, former deputy sarpanch of the panchayat, expressed the community’s frustration, noting that although the borewell was drilled in 2021 using funds from the 15th Finance Commission, the motor has yet to be installed, prolonging their suffering.
As the plight of Sidivalasa villagers continues unabated, their plea for access to clean and safe drinking water remains unanswered, highlighting the urgent need for immediate intervention and assistance from the authorities.