Madurai: Residents of Madurai South Assembly Constituency in Tamil Nadu are facing severe water crisis and alleged that the borewell in the area provided by the government is no longer functioning. According to news agency ANI, the Madurai South MLA SS Saravanan was informed about the grave situation faced by the residents. However, no action has been taken yet, stated the locals.

Notably, amidst the grave water crisis, earlier reports claim that people belonging to Dalit community were restricted to draw water from a public well located at foothills of Otthakadai Yanamalai in Mumbai. Such incidents suggest that the practice of untouchability is still prevalent in a nearby village which is located 10 km away.

Locals stated that over 150 people use the water from the ‘sacred’ well for drinking purposes. “We worship this well and water from the well is used only for drinking purposes and not for any other purpose. We are clean when it comes to the well. Other people (Dalits) are not allowed to visit the well because they are not clean” said a local.

Kathiravan, an official of an NGO that works against untouchability in Tamil Nadu had earlier said, “Untouchability is prevalent in the village of Kodikulam, 10 km from Madurai. To prevent this, the Madurai District Collector should go to the Kodikulam area and inspect it immediately and take action. People who practice untouchability must be proceeded against under the SC/ST Act.”

Such reports arise in the wake of a severe water crisis which has gripped several parts of Tamil Nadu. Protests had erupted in various parts of the state over the brewing water crisis. Reacting to the demonstrations, Tamil Nadu Water Minister SP Velumani on July 3 said, “We have seen protests in some areas. Protesters should not disturb the public. Our government is taking steps to solve the water issue soon.”

(With inputs from ANI)