Access to drinking water is the fundamental right of every human being. This, however, does not hold true of the people of Nari, a village located in Khushab district. People of the village have had no access to clean drinking water in the last 40 years. The main reason for water crisis in this village is the low water table here which compels the poor residents to bring water from a far-flung brook situated in another village at some distance called Katha Masral. The underground water of Nari is also rather brackish. The villagers are, thus, forced to purchase costly water brought in tankers from hand-pumps located in the remote suburbs. The water supplied in the tankers is not always free from contamination. As a result, epidemic diseases like hepatitis A, B, and C have broken out in the village and many people have been stricken. A project of drinking (potable) water for the village was launched in 2004. Under this scheme, the water was to be fetched from a canal located a few kilometers away from the village with a water purification plant to be constructed at the canal head to channel water to the village. The project, though, has hit a snag due to vested interests of local politicians and the district administration. There is some bit of controversy between residents of Nari and Katha Masral. The latter consider the brook that currently supplies water to both hamlets, to be their exclusive property. The Lahore High Court had made a final ruling on the water issue some six years back in favour of the Nari residents but the concerned authorities could not get this decision implemented. The desperate villagers of Nari also attacked the district courts building at Jauharabad some two years back to record a violent protest. Nothing happened. -M. ARSHAD, Khushab, via e-mail, October 8.