Amidst the fun and festivity of the Ponggal celebrations in Kg DBI, the taps suddenly went dry and remained that way until about 20 villagers marched up to the Datuk Bandar’s office at the Ipoh City Council to demand an explanation.That very evening water supply was restored, and preparations for the main pongal events on 29 January resumed.
Water has been a sticky issue in the struggle of the Kg DBI people for alternative housing. This is because Kg DBI people have had to depend on city council water as the City Council as the landowner has refused to give them permission to install water meters through the water authority.
The question on people’s minds this year was whether they would be celebrating pongal on their own land the next year.
The Kg DBI people’s struggle for alternative housing is into its 15th year now. It seems like an insurmountable problem for the state. Four MentrisBesar have been unable to resolve it. Private developers have come up with favourable agreements only to be turned down by the government.
Kg DBI land is prime land located close to the city centre. Developers would love to get their hands on it, and the ruling elite would love to take it for themselves or for their cronies. That is not possible up till now only because of the struggle of the Kg DBI people.