Environment

World Water Day 2022: Making the invisible visible through the lens of the common man

Manipur Water Scarcity: The state has been receiving an annual rainfall of 1,467.5 mm, which is higher than the national average. However, reports show that 42 per cent of the natural springs in the hill areas of the state have vanished. With springs and rivers drying up, catchment areas lying in waste and wetlands vanishing, the future is very bleak for Manipur..

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 23 Mar 2022, 5:14 am

(Photo: IFP)
(Photo: IFP)

As India joined the world in observing the World Water Day 2022 with the theme "Groundwater, making the invisible visible" on Tuesday - March 22, here's a recap on how the Imphal Free Press has been making relentless efforts to highlight the ground reality of water scarcity and related issues amid lack of proper water management in Manipur. Taking serious note of the concerning issue, we have been emphasizing the urgent need to address the problems faced by the people of Manipur for decades even as the Central government has been claiming the progress of its Jal Jeevan mission that was started in 2019 and the recent 'Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain’ campaign.  Mentioned below are some of the IFP exclusive stories on water woes in Manipur:

WATCH:  Is Imphal having water trouble amid Coronavirus outbreak?

WATCH:  Water Scarcity in Manipur: What is the Main Reason?

WATCH:  Growing Water Woes in Urban Imphal Areas | How long will the people endure the pain silently?

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

One of the favourite slogans of BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was that before 2017, only 6 per cent of people were availing drinking tap water in the state of Manipur and now 62.19 per cent families are having that facility. Well, there is some truth in it as pipes had been laid to give safe drinking water coverage in many areas and also the process of pumping water from Thoubal Dam to Chingkhei Ching Water Treatment Plant had begun.  However, with no water flowing in pipes, springs and rivers drying up, and catchment areas lying in waste and wetlands vanishing, the future is very bleak for Manipur

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Read: Growing water insecurity in Manipur with no water flowing in pipes

Wangjing- Heirok riverbed in Thoubal district has now become a hub for illegal mining of sand and pebbles, in the absence of any action taken by the authorities concerned. Owing to it the river has dried up and villagers fear losing the river and the disastrous impact on the ecosystem of the surrounding areas.

Read: How increase in unchecked illegal mining is causing Manipur’s Wangjing-Heirok river to disappear

The Loktak Livelihood Mission was launched in 2018, but it is yet to get clearance from LDA. It is a "useless mission" that will not benefit any fishermen, opines the Loktak Lake Area Fishermen Union Manipur.

Read: Loktak Livelihood Mission: Is the government breaking the rules?

Nambul river that flows through the heart of capital city Imphal is yet to fulfil the criteria to be removed from the list of the most polluted rivers of India which was declared in 2018 by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Read: Manipur's Nambul River pollution level drops, but in CPCB most polluted list still

Springs play a crucial role to thousands of rural populations, particularly in hill areas for their daily domestic purposes. Apart from this, it is a source for many water bodies such as rivers, lakes and ponds. However, such natural sources in Ukhrul are getting depleted, like in the Indian Himalayan regions.

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Read: Once perennial, springs in Ukhrul are now seasonal

Singda dam, set amidst beautiful verdant low-lying hills and on the Singda river, is reportedly the highest mud dam in the world. Located at Kangchup area, about 19 km from Imphal, the multipurpose dam is projected to provide drinking water supply to Imphal urban areas and irrigation water to an area of 4,148 hectares of agricultural land in Manipur. However, this main source of potable water supply in Imphal urban areas is failing to meet its objectives as the water demand of the growing valley population is ever-increasing.

Read: How long can Singda Dam withstand onslaught of climate change, population explosion?

Looking for solution to the water scarcity problem in the state... Can groundwater exploration, apart from water harvesting strategy, serve to ease the problem of acute water scarcity in Manipur during the dry season?

Read: Can groundwater exploration help ease water stress in Manipur?

READ MORE

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First published:22 Mar 2022, 6:53 am

Tags:

water scarcity in manipurworld water day 2022manipur water problem

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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