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Why is the celebration when the taps are running dry?

A dime for your thoughts: Who will ensure drinking water supply to the people of Manipur's capital city Imphal who have been facing acute water scarcity with the rivers all running dry.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 19 Jan 2023, 4:42 am

(PHOTO: IFP)
(PHOTO: IFP)

Still the Manipur government is oblivious to the problem of acute scarcity of water faced by the general public despite several reminders in this space time and again. Yet, they seem to find time to celebrate the awards won by the state departments at the national level on various schemes and projects. Almost every day, there is one function or the other in which ministers sing paeans of the achievements of the BJP government both at the Centre and state.

A pat on the back by someone for any achievement or good thing is deeply encouraging, but when they make it a habit to pat each other every time they go on the public platform it is simply intolerable.

Sometimes, one begins to think if the government is trying to divert the real issues from the public mind with these festivals, functions and propaganda which reeks of self-praise and chest thumping. But, what are the real issues we are facing today? For instance, the state has not been able to pay salaries and pensions of the employees and retired employees regularly while government bills relating to development works have been pending for quite some time.

It is said government funds have been stretched to the limit to fund the state share for centrally sponsored schemes. Then, there is the problem of a bad harvest with famine staring on us this year. Lack of timely rain and fertiliser in the paddy fields with little or no harvest in most areas this year. Yet, nobody seems to be voicing this problem in official circles.  

As we said earlier, power and safe drinking water is basic in the life of the common people, which the state government needs to ensure. Imphal city has been facing a drinking water crisis for the last 6/7 months or so. Water is not flowing in the PHED pipes anymore since the last six/seven months and people are buying water from private water tankers at exorbitant rates and no one seems to bother. 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.

On the other hand, the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) comes up with notifications like such and such water supply schemes would not be able to supply drinking water for lack of sufficient stock. It is true, water reservoirs and rivers have gone dry. But, what is the department doing about it? If the notification is meant for the public to use water sparingly, it is alright.

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The general public should not waste water which is being supplied through the pipes, in some areas. However, we understand that PHED is not there to just inform the general public about the water stock position. It is there to ensure regular supply of safe drinking water to the general public in the backdrop of much vaunted Jal Jeevan Mission and other schemes. And, we simply do not understand how the PHED minister finds time to go looking for poppy fields in the state in a helicopter, instead of deliberating on this serious problem of water scarcity.

Poppy cultivation is indeed a scourge, but there are enough people to look after it. During Covid pandemic, Minister Sushildro was in the forefront to ensure continuous supply of oxygen in the state. We hope this time also he uses his imagination to ensure drinking water to the public in the midst of scarcity.

- Read IFP Editorial

Also Watch:

As Imphal river dries up, locals came out to catch fish in the shallow water | Imphal Free Press

Arsenic Poisoning: How safe is Manipur’s groundwater for consumption?

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Tags:

drinking waterbjpwater scarcitymanipur water scarcity

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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