Thursday, March 5, 2020

Will the islanders have to bear thirst in mid-water? - APWD / PBMC making best efforts to supply adequate water; People are also requested to use water judiciously

TMI Bureau
Port Blair, Mar 04: South Andaman may witness water scarcity this summer. As per reliable sources, currently Dhanikhari reservoir has around 20.7 Million Liters of water against 29.5 ML last year which is 30% less, in other words only 10 mtrs level of water is left in the Dhanikhari dam. Officials say, for the first time since heightening of the Dhanikhari dam, APWD has been forced to impose curtailment in South Andaman region. However, APWD / PBMC are making best efforts to deal with the situation and supply adequate water to over 40,800 households in South Andaman. People are also requested to use water judiciously, officials added.
Climatically, the rainy season happens twice a year under the influence of Southwest monsoon in mid-May to September, and Northeast monsoon in November to January. There is medium to heavy rain during the monsoon, in the months from May to mid September and November to mid December. But, since November last year in these islands did not receive proper rainfall at many places in the A&N Islands.
Consequently, all the resources in South Andaman i.e. Sonapahad water reservoir, Kamset Nallah & Manglutan water reservoirs are almost getting near to dearth condition this year. Secondly, the trend of total dependency on tap water leads to extinct the ring well water resources at many places in the islands due to dense population and congestion in urban areas the wells tend to produce unhygienic water, hence not suitable to use for household purposes.
The water resources in history: a book written / published By R. V. R. Murthy during 2007 titled "Andaman and Nicobar Islands: A Geo-political and Strategic Perspective", clearly mentioned about speech of heavenly aborded former Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee in a civic reception held at Netaji Stadium, Port Blair on 1999 on 'Water Resources and Water Conservation' of the A&N Islands. Meanwhile, the former Lt. Governor, Shri Bhopinder Singh during his tenure in the islands in an interaction with media persons, has also pointed out the necessity and development of 'Water Resources and Water Conservation' in the A&N Islands, he further, then, has also informed that around 30000 suspected unauthorized water connections are exist on those days.
However, the situation could have been averted, if the authorities had succeeded in its previous efforts and projects, in the vein of, Sea Water Purifier: approximately 5 years ago, crores worth machinery installed at Chatham to purify sea water and to supply for community usage, for the purpose steel water tanks also installed at many prime locations, but left without a single drop of proposed 'purified sea water' into the tanks since then. Reasons for the failure of the project, best know the administration. Check Dams: similarly, crores of funds provided by the administration to various Gram Panchayats to construct check dams in their respective villages to conserve the water, and work also done as well. But, as per reports, few got damaged in few years, and the Pradhans of respective villages were managing to fulfill the requirement of water in villages by outsourcing water supply since many years during summer and dry seasons. Underground Pipelines: the leakage from underground pipe lines at Garacharma Junction, Garacharma Medical and Garacharma to Attam Pahad way and at many locations in the islands, during the days on which water is supplied; people witness leakage of water from underground pipelines flowing on to the roads. If these underground pipelines were checked properly and leakages repaired on time, the water scarcity situations in islands can be averted and sufficient water can be conserved. Apart from this, the growing number of hotels and increasing population in many ways are adding the demand of water in the islands.

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