Sunday, May 10, 2020

Water scarcity hits the islanders hard; Administration struggles to provide water once in 5 days

TMI Correspondent
Port Blair, May 6: The acute scarcity of water has already started affecting Port Blair city and the South Andaman District. With the dam water being all time low, Port Blair Municipal Council had already curtailed the water supply to once in four days. Within few days after the curtailment, further curtailment was done by the Council restricting the supply for once in five days that too for mere 15 minutes, without announcing it in public. At some places it is seen supplying water through PBMC tankers also which forces people to wander for water with buckets and drums amid COVID-19. 
Since then the situation has started worsening and water is being collected from inter-islands in boats or ships and by using tankers pour into water tanks to supply to the general public. Some islanders says, 'at least through this experience, the administration may realize that the need of the hour is water in the South Andaman and works related to water projects could also complete timely in the spirit'.
With the predicted low pressure over Bay of Bengal not attracting sufficient showers in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the situation seems to be worsening. Last minute rush to clean up existing wells inside Port Blair city is being noticed now and the Andaman Administration seems puzzled on how to address the issue.
Few years ago the height of the Dhanikhari Dam was increased to five meters and it was announced then that the water scarcity in the islands has been resolved for the next 25 years. Sadly the islanders knew well that the announcement was only to console as no concrete plans were ever made and executed timely.
The project of transporting water from Rut Land Island to Dhanikhari Dam through undersea pipeline was half done and the RO plants to convert salt water to sweet water which was donated and installed after the tsunami of 2004 was never maintained.
There were also few sensible proposals by the Member of Parliament, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma to execute the Flat Bay project and other such proposals, but it was never heard by the concerned authorities.
In the absence of executing proper and timely remedial measures by the Andaman Administration, people of Andaman Islands now wait for the monsoon showers, which has been the only relief since ages for the islanders. 

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