Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Efforts on by Administration to overcome water scarcity due to deficient rains


  • Water transported from Rutland to Phongibalu through water barge
  • Transshipment of water from Hut Bay to Port Blair through DSS vessel
  • Tender floated for laying of submarine pipeline between Rutland & Phongibalu
  • General public urged to adopt water conservation measures

 Port Blair, Apr 15: Due to high deficit of North-East monsoon rains, Hon’ble Lt. Governor, A&N Islands had issued directions to APWD to review the water availability and supply position and take necessary measures for sustaining water supply till the arrival of next monsoon. Accordingly, APWD reviewed the availability of water supply from various sources including Dhanikhari Dam which is the main water source for Port Blair and surrounding areas. The storage level of water in all the reservoirs and sources, have drastically declined due to poor rainfall during the period from December, 2019 to till date. The rainfall data of the previous years is given below:
                                                           (Rainfall in millimetres)
Year

2016-17
2017-18
2018-19
2019-20
December

478
219
189
0
January

96
88
195
0
February

0
0
0
0
March

37
25
15
0
April
(upto 14th April)


35

115

0

0
Total rainfall from Dec to April (in mm)

646
447
399
0
Water level in Dhanikhari dam (in metres) as on 14th April)

58.27
56.33
59.94
52.27
Dead storage level of Dhanikhari dam is 48 metre
& water cannot be drawn below 48 metres
    While the total rainfall during the period 1st December to 14th April, in the last 3 years (2016-17 to 2018-19) was between 399 mm to 646 mm, there was virtually no rainfall at all from December, 2019 onwards, on account of which the reservoirs could not get recharged to their optimum level.
    Taking the rainfall of previous months into consideration and factoring in the availability of water in the reservoirs, once in three day supply was made from 1st March, 2020 and later, once in 4 day supply was started in PBMC and other areas from 8th April, 2020, with a view to conserve water and sustain the supply till the arrival of next monsoon in last week of May, 2020.
    The Administration is also augmenting the water supply by transporting  water from Rutland to Phongibalu, through water barge. Presently, one barge of 200 tonnes (2 lakh litre) capacity is making 4 trips in a day and transports about 800 tonnes (8 lakh litres) of water to Phongibalu, which is then pumped to Dhanikhari dam through an already existing pipeline. In another few days, a second barge will be deployed, which will help to transport an additional 8 lakh litres of water every day for distribution to urban and rural areas.
    In addition, water is also being transported from Hut Bay to Port Blair through DSS vessel M.V. Campbell Bay, which has a capacity of 500 tonnes (5 lakh litres). The first consignment of 500 tonnes of water by M.V.Campbell Bay reached Port Blair on 14/04/2020 and the PBMC water tankers are distributing the water to various locations within municipal area as required.  Trips of MV Campbell Bay would be regularly planned to fetch water from Hut Bay, to supplement the water supply position in Port Blair.
    In order to augment the water sources in rural areas, the MP along with team of officials consisting of DC, South Andaman and CE(APWD) visited Ferrargunj Tehsil of South Andaman on 26/02/2020 and suggested construction of check weirs in the nallahs in Herbatabad, Sona Pahar, Ograbraj, Namunaghar etc. for which estimates are under preparation by APWD. Development of these water sources will improve the water availability in these rural villages.
    The laying of submarine pipeline between Rutland and Phongibalu and the commissioning of Rutland Water Supply scheme will help to overcome the water scarcity problems due to deficient rains, as is being faced now.  In this regard, tender floated by APWD for laying of submarine pipeline between Rutland and Phongibalu has evoked good response and the tenders are under evaluation.
    While the Administration is making all the required efforts to augment the water sources and sustain the water supply to the residents, the general public have also been requested to use the water judiciously and adopt water conservation measures to tide over the present water crisis, a press release says.

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