Village folk in Parbat take the lottery route to fill waterLocals of Hanumandanda Village in Shaligram, Parbat have been playing lottery for the last five years. Not for any jackpot. But to win a turn to fetch a vessel of water from a public tap.
Locals of Hanumandanda Village in Shaligram, Parbat have been playing lottery for the last five years. Not for any jackpot. But to win a turn to fetch a vessel of water from a public tap.
There are 33 families in the village, but the public tap supplies water to the households only for two hours a day. Consequently, many of the village folks are often left high and dry.
Local Dil Prasad Neupane said people would not get water if they were absent during a draw.
“We request our neighbours to draw on our behalf if none of our family members would be present on that day,” he said.
People with a lottery ticket are to water from the public tap for an entire month. Anil Bhattarai, a teacher of Wahaki Secondary School, does the honour of drawing lottery on the last Saturday of each month.
Villagers have to walk at least two hours to reach Balam stream or Kaligandaki river to fetch water if they miss out on the lottery ticket. Elderly citizen Buddhisara Bhattarai said old people cannot walk so long to fetch water.
The introduction of the lottery system has ended disputes over filling water at the public tap, Pemadevi Bhattarai said, who drew a ‘char kha’ in the lottery this time, suggesting that she gets her turn to fill her vessel after three others. “I got water in the fourth number for a second time,” she said.
The villagers said they have been reeling under water shortage for a long time. According to the District Drinking Water and Sanitation Division Office, the office could not complete the construction of a drinking water project to supply water in Hanumandanda, Wahaki and Shaligram areas due to lack of budget. “We have started the construction of water project to supply water in these areas two years ago,” he said.
There are 66 drinking water projects under construction in Parbat, according to engineer Shiva Shankar Shah.
“We need a budget of Rs2.5 billion to complete all the projects. But we were allocated only Rs110 million for this fiscal year,” said Shah.