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A&N Islands are rich with water resources; If properly managed, we could export water to mainland, even to other countries: MP

TMI Bureau

Port Blair, May 10: 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. During those monsoons A&N Islands used to get medium to heavy rain every year. Only the original islanders of A&N Islands are aware about the fact as they witnessed during their birth and brought up in these Islands. But, due to climate change, pollution and rise in deforestation, earth cutting islands get reduced rainfall year by year for the first time in a decade. Consequently, people today are facing long curtailment of 7 days at some localities in supply of water in South Andaman.

Apart from monsoons rainfall, these Islands have rich water resources such as rivers, lakes, waterfalls, rivers, ponds and wells at several and every part of these Islands at Kalpong river at Digipur, Galthiya river at Campbell Bay, lakes at Panchavati Rangat, Ograbraj, Burmanallah, Teylorabad, Bimblitan, White-surf Water at Hut Bay, Waterfall at Rutland, Pongy Bhalu, Flat Bay and many more etc. are available and never seen dry even any degree of summer season till date. In addition, several old and new water wells are also available in every city or village in these Islands.

Although the A&N Administration here prefers to do it and permit others to carry out bore-well drillings in these Islands, how safe would it be geologically for islands? Is better known to the A&N Administration and it's authority. Ironically, the people in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands for a decade have been facing water crisis during summer season and the situation of water crisis increasing year by year despite assurances from the A&N Administration's end.

MP's vision on water: As part of National Press Day celebration at a function at Megapode Resort on Nov 17, 2019, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma, Member of Parliament as Chief Guest has informed about water issues as one among his vital issues. The first being water which he said is an important component of life. "He has submitted proposals to the UT administration on enhancing the water storage capacity. He stated that while UTs like Delhi provide water to crores of people with marginal rainfall, we have not been able to provide adequate quantity of water to a population of around 4 lakh despite receiving more than3000 mm of rainfall annually". "I have always wished people of these islands should get adequate and quality water 24x7 round the year. In the past, I proposed development of catchment areas from Buniyadabad to Dundus Point Jetty so as to ensure optimal use of rainwater. Similarly, water supply projects at Flat Bay, Rutland, Phongy Balu should be expedited. All these sources can be connected with pipelines so that water can be supplied to any region that experiences water shortage. Construction of rainwater reservoirs, lakes, ponds etc. in different parts of these islands will also help solve this problem to a great extent. Tapping water sources in Great Nicobar Island can also generate employment if water is exported to dry States like Chennai and supplied to cargo ships passing through the Malacca Straits as per their requirement. Even water can be transported to areas like Diglipur by laying pipelines from Port Blair", he added.

Subsequently, few major projects were completed, and A&N Administration has assured the people of A&N Islands that no water crisis will arise in future or next season, but statement of previous year was contradicted again and issued advisories on 'save water' people forced to go through lengthy curtailments in water supply.

Conclusion: The unchecked increase in population and water connections, deforestation and earth cuttings, improper management of water resources, water leakage in underground and surface pipelines are the main causes which impacted naturally and technically to these A&N Islands.


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