If you have been facing water shortage at home, chances are there will be some respite by next week. Faced with repeated complaints of water scarcity, the civic body has started desedimenting its water pipes after which normal flow should resume.
Pockets in blocks like AA, AB, AL, BJ, BL, CD, CL and CK have been facing water shortage since the advent of summer this year and no amount of ferrule cleaning was helping matters.
“Buildings numbered 1, 4, 9 and 11 in our colony are facing water scarcity for a week. Building no. 6 is facing acute shortage for a fortnight,” said Satarupa Sadhukhan, a resident of Amartya Abasan in AL Block on Tuesday.
BL Block’s Sujata Mitra is being forced to do her laundry in her sister’s house in Ultadanga. “This crisis is going on for 10 days now. Ours is a joint family with several members and it’s a curse to spend summer without enough water.”
Civic chief Krishna Chakraborty, who is also in charge of water supply, attributed the scarcity to two reasons. The first is that the water pipes have got clogged with iron sediments. “The iron content of Salt Lake’s ground water is very high. This is blocking the pipes and so less amount of water is being carried from tanks to homes,” she said.
Backwash cleaning of the pipes has now been started. “We are sending our men to every block that we are getting complaints from. One end of a pipe is being shut and water is being sent in at high speed from the other end. This cleaning takes two to three days,” said Swapan Moitra, executive engineer of public heath and engineers, Bidhannagar Municipality. The cleaning started this week. But he adds that residents should first check their ferrules in case of water shortage.
The other reason for the scarcity, according to the civic chief, is the inefficiency of the men in charge of water tanks. “Those assigned to run water pumps of tanks are not doing their job properly. It has been found that they were not switching on the pumps on time, and so adequate water was not reaching homes. Our team of civic officials is now supervising their work on a regular basis.”
Salt Lake has a daily requirement of around nine million gallons of water per day. Part of this it receives from Tallah Waterworks and the rest is drawn from underground water. But with the ongoing scarcity, residents have been forced to buy water from private bodies. “I had to buy a tanker of water for Rs 700. It lasted us a week,” said Arati Banerjee of BL Block.
Water tanker suppliers like Bidhannagar Sanskriti Kendra admit that the demand for water has shot up in the last 10 days. “Even we need to be informed three to four hours before we can supply the water,” said an employee.
In times like these, residents are appealing to one another to use water judiciously. “I have seen water overflowing in the driveway of neighbours who are not bothered about shutting the taps,” said Sathi Ghosh of AA Block.