The Ongoing Story of the Mokhada Pani Hakk Sangharsh Samiti
Mokhada taluka is a predominantly hilly region, and the Vatvad hill ridge is the source of 5 major rivers, the Godavari flowing to the east, the Pinjal to the south, the Wagh flowing to the west, the Tansa flowing to the south and the Vaitarna flowing to the south. These rivers are the water providers for the growing urban-industrial centers from Vapi to Mumbai. Ironically the villagers of Mokhada are water starved and water supply is tanker driven for a good part of the year.
The drinking water problem in Mokhada taluka is man-made. Nature has blessed the taluka with 2,700 mm of rainfall annually. However, as forests have been cut down, rainwater fails to percolate slowly down into the soil. The gullies created due to soil erosion have not been plugged; water rushes down into the rivers leaving the villages parched. On the other hand schemes like the Jal Swarajya Yojana, Shivkaleen yojna and the like have been an abysmal failures. Leaking dams, collapsed budkis, dry wells, stolen pipelines, cracked tanks, broken pumps, incomplete schemes tell the sorry tale. Crores of public funds have been spent in the name of providing water to the parched adivasi villages, the contractors and their political patrons have enriched themselves many times over, but the villages continue to remain dry.
This report concerns itself with the ongoing struggle of the residents of Mokhada to acquire water security and be recognized as deserving of water security as citizens of India.