On August 30th, the people of Lahuria Dah, Uttar Pradesh finally received a water supply to their village after struggling with water scarcity for 76 years following Independence. District Magistrate Divya Mittal is the reason behind it. Unfortunately, days after installing the pipe water in the village, The DM Divya Mittal was transferred to Basti district in eastern UP and has been put on a waitlist by the state government.
Lahuria dah is a village of 1200 people located on a hilltop in the semi-arid district of Mirzapur, eastern UP. The residents depended on a nearby spring which used to dry up in the summers and had to rely on paid water tankers. This led to spending the entire budget on supplying water to the village, putting the town in a debt of 20 lakhs.
After getting posted as the DM OF Mirzapur, Divya Mittal started working on repairing the well and 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 a suitable technology for taking water supply lines to the village located on the hard rocky surface. After 9 months of hard work, she and her team successfully facilitated the provision of piped water to the townspeople’s homes.
The locals stated “Before Independence, very few families would live in the village with their animals and their requirements would be fulfilled by the spring. Later, 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.” About a decade ago an attempt was made to construct a water supply line but due to a lack of proper planning, the work was stopped halfway.
“Apart from beginning the tap water supply line, the only well of the village has been utilized for rainwater harvesting while an artificial dam-cum-pond has also been created for the collection of water for animals as they can’t always be fed tap water. The lift pumps of the project sending water to the hilltop village will be managed under the Jal Jeevan Mission,” stated Divya Mittal.