Munnar: Edamalakkudy, Kerala’s first tribal panchayat, now has a well. Water has been spotted in the well dug in the remote hamlet inside Idamalayar Reserve Forest and Mankulam Forest Division of the state.
Ground water was found 50 feet deep in the well dug at panchayat headquarters. Now, the well has ample water. After digging five more feet, the rings will be placed. The drilling process in the other well sanctioned on the premises of family health care centre in the panchayat is going on as rock was found at 50 feet deep.
Until now, the residents were relying on rivers, lakes and other streams. Water was fetched either by use of hose or by carrying as headload in utensils. They will store water in containers for various activities. Both village dwellers and officials working in the hamlet was relying on these containers. Interestingly, with water being spotted in the well, they will have some relief from their ordeal.
The idea of well was suggested by R Varghese, a Thiruvananthapuram native, who was appointed as panchayat secretary last year. Due to physical ailments, the daily ordeal of collecting water was a tough job for him. Similarly, he was evoked by the plight of the residents. Varghese approached the forest department with a demand for construction of three wells in the hamlet. Panchayat office, family health care centre and tribal hostel were the three places suggested. Among them two were approved except the one near tribal hostel.
The panchayat from its fund allocated Rs 3.7 lakhs for the construction of well. Mankulam native Robin took over the project. Digging of well, placing rings, installation of water pump and bringing water to storage tank at panchayat headquarters were part of the contract.
According to Varghese, water from the well can be brought to other government buildings in the hamlet and the objective of the project is to provide water to each and every households.