Budheda, a village situated in the outskirts of Gurgaon is located at about a distance of 15 kms form the city. In Budheda, the water is a little saline; making it very hard to drink. Many of the households use PHED water. But this process of supplying water is dependent on electricity. as electricity is used to store water. However, our study revealed that sweet water is also available in some of the places. Due to the climate change and less rainfall, the underground water level is decreasing. Another reason is that the ground water is being extracted at a very fast rate, and hence the scarcity of pure drinking water. Some areas of the village witness sweet drinking water, hence the number of boring (using submersibles) in those areas are more.
Rainfall is a reason to celebrate in Budheda, because rainfall has gone drastically down with the years passing by and when it rains, it brings relief to the people. Elder sections of the people usually recall the heaviest rainfall in 1977. According to them, in 1977 it rained so heavily that the place flooded for a couple of days, and boats were used for transportation .
We also surveyed another village named Sadhraana. It is about 20 kms from Gurgaon city and 5 kms from Budheda. Sadhraana is also called as “pandito ka gaon”, which means the village of pandits. Shadrana, again houses people of different castes which include SCs, Rajputs, Brahmins, Yadavs etc. Water is again a problem in Shadrana. The water supplied by the PHED is sweet, i.e. the area where the PHED boring is done, has sweet water. But the PHED water supply doesn’t reach to all parts of the village. The water supply by the PHED is completely dependent on electricity. The water is supplied only when the power is available. The richer section of the village draw water from the pipes using an electric motor first. Hence, the poorer sections of the village always have to face the difficulty in accessing the water. Budheda and Sadhraana, both face water problems. But, the fact that water being wasted can not be ignored. Hence, people should be made aware of conserving water.
A meeting with the PHED officials and the Panchayat members of Sultanpur and Jhanjhrola khera was organized, in which it was decided that people found guilty of wasting water would be fined. Hence, in this way there would be a check on the wastage of water.
In these two months of field survey in Budheda and Sadhraana, I had a great experience, and learnt many new things. . First of all, the issues of water in peri -urban area can be seen from different perspectives of vulnerability, accessibility, etc. Culture, tradition and life-styles of those villages were interesting to note.
In Assam the water problem is very much different from Haryana. In Assam, water is a reason for many problems in the village. Every year, thousands of people become homeless due to flood. Flood washes away the crops fields; many households even face famine like situation. The situation is very devastating there. Many diseases have spread by the floods like cholera, malaria, etc. People died because of flood and the crops are also washed away. But here in Sadhraana and Budheda people face problem due to water shortage. The ground water level is about 80-90 in there. The irregularity or scarcity of monsoon rains is the main reason of low productivity of monsoon crops.