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No need to panic, use water very judicially: Mr. Nikhil; ‘Steps are being taken to tackle water crisis like every year’

TMI Correspondent

Port Blair, May 03: "Receiving half rainfall in the last year, less rainfall in Northeast monsoon (November to January), long summer season and delay in Southwest monsoon (May to September) are the major reasons for this water crisis situation in today in A&N Islands", said Mr. Nikhil Kumar, Commissioner-cum-Secretary (APWD) at a press-meet at Secretariat on May 02, 2023.

Shortage of water is a recurrent issue in Islands during summer season. As the Islands face a water crisis, the administration's only hope is the rain God. But the administration never shy away in making tall claims in regard to short-term and long term measures which normally remains on paper once the rain God showers its blessing. This has been happening for the past many decades and most likely to continue in future also.

Mr. Nikhil Kumar while interacting with media persons said that the UT administration is fully aware and alive to the water situation and about the problems faced by the people of the islands, particularly the residents of the city. The Andaman Public Works Department and Port Blair Municipal Council are on their toes tackling the water crisis owing to the delayed arrival of the Southwest monsoon. A number of measures are being taken up to meet the water requirements of the people, he added.

Many areas in city as well as in South Andaman facing acute shortage of water, the UT administration has taken up mitigation measures like de-silting of wells, diggis, ponds and lakes, cleaning of wells, identifying potential water sources, transportation of water from outer islands and water supply through tankers in worst hit areas.

Presently, 6.6 MLD of water is being drawn from Rutland which is transported through a network of pipelines to Dhanikhari Dam from where the water is supplied to Port Blair. Presently 32 MLD water is supplied to the city. He informed that up to 10th March this year, sufficient quantity of water was available at Dhanikhari Dam, but from 11th March 2023, onwards there was a reduction of 30% water in the dam. This resulted in the short supply of water from Dhanikhari Dam. In areas worst hit by water shortages, water is being supplied through water tankers. Additionally, ships returning from the southern group of islands have been directed to bring water to Port Blair, which is expected to add 18 tonnes of water to the supply. He assured that work for tapping water from two more sources of Rutland will begin soon and once it is done 6.0 MLD of more water will be brought to Pongi Balu through pipelines from Rutland. Further he said, 3 Borewells also drilled at various locations city to mitigate the water crisis. He said that from tomorrow badges will be used to bring more water from Rutland to Pongi Balu and with this nearly 0.6 MLD extra water will be available. He further informed that, Water Control Room No: 03192-245798 is available to register complaints regarding any wastage of water spotted in Municipal areas, and an email ID is being created to invite suggestions and to inform about new water bodies available, if any in localities i.e., he added.


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