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Pumps and tap water

IFP Editorial: Manipur PHED needs to pool in public and private water tankers for supply of drinking water to the general populace who are now facing water scarcity.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 21 Jul 2022, 8:33 pm

Representational Image (Photo: Pixabay)
Representational Image (Photo: Pixabay)

BJP’s much touted Jal Jeevan Mission and Jal Shakti Abhiyan still remain a mirage in the state. BJP leaders had been claiming that before 2017 only 6 percent were availing drinking tap water and now 62.19 percent families are having that facility.

But pipes need water for it to reach the homes. Again the problem is when water comes in the pipes, the push is not enough for the water to reach the water tanks installed at homes without a pump. Practically, many families with a tap water connection had to have a water pump without which the water comes in trickling. As the poor cannot simply afford a water pump, they live at the mercy of rich neighbours who own water pumps.

ALSO READ: The urgent call for river rejuvenation

Again, it is mostly families near the main water pipeline who get most of the water while many in the interior Leikai areas do not get water even if they use water pumps to suck water from the internal pipes. And we cannot simply understand why PHED is allowing or rather encouraging families to buy and use water pumps in the first place while they should be banning it. In a move to save energy, the government had been appealing to the general population to avoid using electrical appliances including water pumps.   

In many places water has stopped flowing in the PHED pipes since the last few months or so and people are buying water from private water tankers at exorbitant rates. Major portions of Imphal city have been facing water scarcity and have had to depend on private water tankers. In fact, private water supply has become a booming business.

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Some enterprising people have started operating private water treatment plants near the Imphal River, even in the Chief Minister’s own constituency. For those who could afford to buy 10,000 litre at Rs 7,000 and 1,700 litres at Rs 500, it is alright. But to the poor urban families, it has become a major burden with the MLAs turning a blind eye to the woes of the poor who cannot afford to buy water.

ALSO READ: Water scarcity in Imphal

The VVIPs and VIPs, to whose homes and quarters water is delivered by government water tankers on a regular basis, might have been blind to the acute water scarcity facing Imphal city now. While Imphal city reels under water scarcity the state Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) is doing precious little to come up with adequate measures for availing drinking water to the general populace.  

We still do not know when the Water Treatment Plant at Chingkhei Ching would become operational. On the other hand, one cannot simply depend on the Iroisemba Water Supply scheme. Now, we are more concerned about the acute scarcity of water facing the state. We hope Minister Sushindro would apply his mind to this important issue.

With springs and rivers drying up, catchment areas lying in waste and wetlands vanishing, the future is very bleak for the state. Manipur experiences water scarcity due to lack of facilities to harvest rainwater and destruction of catchment areas, as per reports.

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ALSO READ: Tamenglong Drinking Water Project: Poor quality construction found

Manipur has been receiving an annual rainfall of 1,467.5 mm, which is higher than the national average. There are also reports showing that 42 per cent of the natural springs in the hill areas of the state have vanished.

The state needs to frame a comprehensive Water policy to deal with non-stop supply of potable water to every home both in urban and rural areas throughout the year with special emphasis on adequate supply during the lean season.

For the present, PHED needs to pool in public and private water tankers for supply of drinking water to the general populace who are now facing water scarcity. The new PHED minister L Sushildro is known for his innovative ideas and non-conventional solutions to problems. That is why, we are still confused as to why he is not in action regarding the water scarcity. Perhaps, he has not been properly briefed on the situation.  

EDITORIAL

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First published:21 Jul 2022, 8:33 pm

Tags:

water crisisPHED Manipurscarcity of waterImphal water supplyimphal drinking water

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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