By Amit Tiwari
Jamshedpur: Notwithstanding tall claims of the political lot, drinking water crisis has raised its ugly head once again in the city in the peak summer season. Residents of Mango, Jugsalai and other areas dependent upon the mercy of civic bodies are facing the torments of the summer season the most owing to the water shortage.
With the onset of May, one of the hottest summer months, Mango residents could be seen standing in long queues waiting for their turn to take water from stand-posts (public tap) in different localities from early morning till evening. This scene is typical of Mango as well as many other localities where water supply is made by Mango Notified Area Committee, Jugsalai Municipality or Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee.
In such areas, fetching water becomes the most important household task for nearly all the residents, save for the lucky few who get it from other regular sources like water supply through pipes, deep boring or privately-held handpumps.
Sources revealed that out of the 2.25 lakh (approximately) population of Mango, majority of the people get water after much hardship every day as they have to go to the nearest source of water which is usually not so near. Such people do not have regular water supply to their households. Rather they take water from standposts, handpumps or tankers. Tankers are either arranged for by the residents on a daily or monthly payment basis or are sent, which is not usually the case, by the MNAC authorities.
MNAC usually starts tanker supply from April whereas the water problem actually starts much before that. From March itself, the water crisis starts showing its symptoms with depleting underground water table levels, dried up wells and dysfunctional hand-pumps, said Upendra Tiwary, transporter and a resident of Teacher’s Colony, Mango, who has to fetch water from a nearby hand-pump since the well in his house dries up much before summer onset.
The Mango drinking water supply project, which has seen expenses to the tune of Rs 65 crore so far, is yet to be fully functional in terms of achieving its end. It aims to supply drinking water through pipe connection to 40,000 households in Mango. But so far, less than 12,000 connections have been provided by MNAC. The reason for this is the apparent unwillingness of many people to pay holding tax dues and pay charges for the new connection which is around Rs 4000, said an MNAC official.
Aggravating the water crisis further is the loadshedding in Mango as a result of which lifting water to private household tanks or rooftop tanks and towers becomes impossible. Power supply suffers from irregularity which has become a rule rather than being an exception in Mango as well as Jugsalai and other areas of the city. Due to insufficient number of tankers, many people purchase water from individual suppliers who carry water in tins on carts, auto-rickshaws and other vehicles on a daily basis.
MNAC sources said the Mango residents need 3.15 crore litre water everyday. But only 55 lakh litre of water is supplied daily by MNAC. This huge gap between demand and supply speaks volumes of the water crisis gaping at the authorities concerned to take measures to find a permanent solution to the same.
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